Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Book Purchases

toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, features my most recent book purchases! This was a fun post to write because my books are rather diverse (science fiction, nonfiction, mystery & thriller, classics, and YA classics). Some of these books I have already read, some I’m in the middle of reading, and others are still waiting to be picked up!

Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession (I didn’t include library check-outs, because I honestly forgot about them!)


Amelia ElkinsAmelia Elkins Elkins
by A. M. Blair (via Kindle) – One of the bloggers I converse with regularly recently published a retelling of Jane Austen’s PersuasionAmelia Elkins Elkins is a modern “courtroom drama” version of one of my favorite Austen novels (I haven’t started it yet, so I may be exaggerating on the courtroom drama aspect, but it is a legal mystery/thriller!). Hop on over to The Misfortune of Knowing to read more about this Persuasion adaptation!

The Lost WorldThe Lost World by Michael Crichton (paperback)- After racing through Jurassic Park a few weeks ago, I went to Barnes and Noble to pick up the sequel. I had hoped to read it during my vacation two weeks ago, but I was immersed in another book on this list. The Lost World is still on my immediate TBR list, though!

Elizabeth GaskellCranford and Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (via Kindle) – I’m desperately trying to get through my Classics Club list, and I have just started Wives and Daughters after hearing about the Victorian Celebration event A Literary Odyssey is hosting this month. The only other Gaskell novel I’ve read is North and South, which I ADORED, so I’m hoping I like these two novels as well.

The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir (paperback) – I’ve been trekking through this book for a few weeks now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s anything but boring, but it is highly technical and therefore I can only pay attention when I’m reading in absolute silence (which wasn’t easy to do when I brought this book along on my cruise vacation two weeks ago).

Jane Austen DevoA Jane Austen Devotional by Steffany Woolsey (hardcover) – I picked this book and the succeeding one up from Lifeway the last time I was there a few months ago. Each entry starts with a page-long excerpt from an Austen novel, followed by an important moral lesson from the story. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with Austen :)

Marriage AdventureThe Uncommon Marriage Adventure by Tony and Lauren Dungy (hardcover) – My husband and I started going through this devotional together, but it’s been hard for us to find a consistent time to read it so we’ve been slacking.

IMG_0746What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Monroe (hardcover) – I mentioned this book on a non-fiction themed Top Ten Tuesday a while back and I am pleased to say this one was very entertaining and enlightening. If you like science or just like to ponder ridiculous hypothetical questions, please check out What If?!

Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green GablesAnne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery (paperback) – I bought these three personal favorites a few months ago, anticipating a spring reread. Unfortunately I didn’t get around to doing that, but I do enjoy admiring the gorgeous artwork every time I see these books on my shelf. I wish the whole series was published in this format, but there’s only these three plus Anne of Windy PoplarsAnne’s House of Dreams, and Anne of Ingleside.

What was the last book you purchased?

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Grimm Memories by Janna Jennings

grimmmemories

The nightmares were getting worse, plaguing her more and more over the last six months. Images, sharp and vivid as a recent memory, invaded her dreams until the lines of reality melted together.

Grimm Memories by Janna Jennings
Published Oct 29, 2014 by Patchwork Press
Young Adult Fantasy
Format: e-book; 337 pages
Also By This Author: A Grimm Legacy
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

(spoilers below for A Grimm Legacy)

Synopsis:

It has been six months since Quinn and her friends returned home after barely escaping Elorium—but no one ever really leaves the world where fairy tales are born. Not a day has gone by where they haven’t thought about returning to save Jack. Even their dreams are urging them to return to the strange world.

Falling back into the fairy tale world, they find the situation more dire than the way they left it. Jack has disappeared, and he’s not the only one. Elorium’s citizens are near panic as characters are missing and rumors are spreading about massive creatures roaming the sky. A rising darkness is enslaving the dreamers, and in a land filled with water nymphs and malevolent mazes, it’s hard to find any allies.
Despite the risks of their rescue mission, Fredrick is determined to bring back his grandfather, no matter how personal the cost.

Thoughts:

“Far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!”

If you’re a fan of Beauty and the Beast you’ll recognize that line from the opening song. It’s the line that kept playing in my head while reading The Grimm Tales series by Janna Jennings.

Grimm Memories, the sequel to A Grimm Legacy, picks up six months after Andi and her friends escape Elorium. The group devises a plan to return to the fairy-tale world after Andi and Dylan begin having strange nightmares. Frederick is determined to rescue his grandfather, Jack, who they were forced to leave behind during their escape. But when the teenagers return to Elorium, they find things a lot stranger than they had left them.

Our four heroes and heroines have changed a bit since we last saw them, although their distinct personalities remain intact. Frederick, Andi, and Quinn are still stubborn in their own ways, but they return to Elorium prepared to fight, both physically and mentally. Dylan, in an appropriate fashion, didn’t even bother to brush up on his knowledge of fairy-tales before deciding to come back to Elorium, something that Quinn hilariously calls him out on more than once.

While our group of fairy-tale descendants are back and better than ever, the world of Elorium has changed for the worse. Houses have been destroyed and left destitute and many Elorians have mysteriously disappeared. Grimm Memories is a lot darker than A Grimm Legacy. The nightmares that Dylan and Andi suffer through every night are haunting, and the new creatures and story book characters the group encounters during their second visit to Elorium are more dangerous and unfriendly than before. This added so much suspense which I thoroughly enjoyed. There are several scenes in this novel where Andi and her friends’ lives are in peril and often people were gravely injured. Suffice it to say that the suspense was killing me during several of the more intense chapters!

The novel’s resolution is sweet and well-done. Some of my lingering questions were answered (always a plus), and while I don’t think there are plans for a third book, there is an epilogue at the end that leaves us with a bit of a cliffhanger, so who knows? :)

Also…once again, I adored this book cover! So pretty!

Read This Book If…:

…you’ve already finished A Grimm Legacy (this is not a stand-alone novel)
…you’re intrigued by darker fairy-tale characters
…you’re in the mood for a good suspense novel
…you like happy endings :)

Final Musings

As much as I enjoyed the first Grimm Tales book, I liked the second one ever more! There was more action, more mystery & suspense, and more adventures with the characters I’ve come to love. Grimm Memories deals with sacrifice, love, and friendship, and it is full of surprises in every chapter! If you like reading stories that can make you laugh, swoon, and bite your nails, this book is for you!

 

A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings

grimmlegacy

“I’m a girl of many hidden talents.” She gestured to her filthy, damp clothes. “Keeping myself out of trouble is not one of them.”

A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings
Published Oct 28, 2013 by Patchwork Press
Young Adult Fantasy
Format: e-book; 308 pages
Also From This Author: Grimm Memories
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Enchanted castles and charming princes thought to exist only in stories come to life in this classically twisted fairy tale that combines the timeless quality of folktales with the challenges of the modern world. 

The woods of Elorium appear ordinary to Andi…until the birds start to talk and elves answer doors. Whisked out of her world along with three strangers, Andi finds herself the reluctant guest of Mr. Jackson, a perplexing millionaire who claims to be able to help them get home. The secrets he harbors, however, make it difficult to know just who to trust. 

When the group of teenagers discover that in this new world, fiction is anything but, and that they all have unexpected family ties to this fairy tale land, they must learn to rely on each other.

Faced with characters short on whimsy and bent toward treachery, Andi, Quinn, Fredrick, and Dylan are forced to play their parts in unfinished fairy tales. But in Elorium, happily ever after is never guaranteed.

Thoughts:

loved A Grimm Legacy! The fairy tale world had me captivated instantly and I was rooting for the four main characters the entire time. Andi is the unwavering leader, the main link between the other characters and the fantastical world of Elorium. Fredrick, a compassionate southern boy, is the brave protector. Quinn, strong and selfless, is always quick-thinking in stressful situations. And Dylan, a stereotypical Californian surfer, has a secret soft spot beneath his persuasive exterior.

This story begins when these four teenagers from different areas of the country mysteriously appear in a foreign world. As the plot progresses, we discover that Andi, Fredrick, Quinn, and Dylan each have a connection to the world of Elorium.

One of the coolest things about this novel is how it echoes popular Grimm fairy tales, but with a twist, of course :) Even if you aren’t too familiar with fairy tales (which I am not), you’ll still recognize references to the major stories. For the lesser known tales, Janna Jennings summarizes them in a fitting way that still leaves you anxious to find out what happens next.

“Don’t say impossible, not after the day we’ve had.”

This book is suspenseful and intriguing! During the more mysterious plot lines I found myself devouring every page. And let me just comment on this gorgeous cover: I love it! I am a sucker for beautiful book covers even though I try not to ignore or judge books with horrible covers (I fail sometimes). This cover is great–it’s simple yet it pulls you in at the same time.

Read This If:

…you enjoy fairy tales
…you are a fan of the TV show “Once Upon A Time” (this book is exactly like that)
…you’re into reading adventure novels
…you love books that leave you hanging in suspense until the last page

Final Musings:

This book exceeded my expectations. It was full of mystery and suspense, and several of the big reveals really surprised me. I can’t wait to read the sequel, Grimm Memories! Check back for that review next week :)