Thursday, July 23, 2015

Rachel Caine rocks the planet with Ink and Bone! Review time!

I tore through this story, not quickly, but with this hunger to be in the middle of Jess's world, to be inside his head and know the people around him. From the beginning your heart will pound. Even as a young kid his introspection crawled into my heart and took over. The world is an alternative here-and-now with this all-seeing, all-knowing Library that controls all information, even controls how, when, and where you have access to it. You can imagine not everyone liked that plan for society. So there are your activists, the Burners. Then you have the black market traders who like that plan because it's their bread and butter. The idealists are a danger to everyone, especially themselves. The bad guys range in degrees. But throughout there was this creeping dread that no one had it right yet. The Burners have some thoughts on the right track, but mostly they are a bunch of crazies. The Library scholars live in golden towers far removed from the real world. The young idealists who desperately want to become scholars fight to serve the Library, but fight even harder to hold onto their long held vision of an ideal run amuck.

Rachel Caine's Ink and Bone had a very Orwellian vibe all the way down to the feeling that this could have been performed over the radio with static and voices that drew you in. There was also a steampunk slash hopeless dystopian feel. The world building was phenomenal. The characters will be with me...forever. I'm hooked.

On a book girl side note, I remember reading an emotional post from Rachel Caine years ago about censorship. I think it was in response to hate mail or some internet troll and when I started reading Ink and Bone I thought of my walkaway feelings from that post of Caine's, that any kind of censorship is a suffocating band around freedom. She didn't say it like that, but I had to breathe deeply after reading it. If I was a betting girl I'd say Caine spun those feelings until an amazing intricate world was formed and created Ink and Bone.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The summer drama of a newly minted teenager, a six year old who decided he has to be a drummer right now, and a mom who can't remember her kids' names.

I took Will and John to a library event called Tinkertopia. So cool. They bring bins of random stuff, junk in the minds of anyone who likes things tidy and minimal, candyland to anyone who lives in their imagination, and you build whatever you want. The program guide said six and up. Will took one look inside the room and fixed me with his death ray stare. So maybe a few parents brought their little tykes and maybe there wasn't a soul in there older than eight. "Mom, I'm thirteen!" I was speechless because my mind spat out "So what!" Not the most sensitive approach. He walked out. John created Bumblebee from Transformers and told me that it is also a drum set. Awesome. I scored as mom of the summer by getting wave pool passes for all of us. It's a place where you cannot not bump into random strangers wearing almost nothing. I try to encourage the boys to play with kids their own age but they still swarm me. I run and screech, but they catch me by way of tackling. The lifeguards think it's funny. Ha ha ha. In between, they bicker. They push and pull and yell at each other. I separate them and like some cosmic genetic twist, they gravitate back immediately to play the game all over again. I've taken to calling them "Whatever your name is there, quit it. Grrh." There are laughs and time outs and the little guy keeps telling me I'm adorable to throw me off. He also tells me I'm a fuzzy pink bunny, which I am not. It's been that kind of summer. How has it been for you all? Laughs, shouts, cries, maybe a couple sunburns?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Buddy Read Chat Time! Bookworm Brandee and robgirlbooks fall for Own the Wind by Kristen Ashely

We read the entire Rock Chick series. We started the Colorado Man series. And now we're hitting the Chaos series where bikes rule and girls drool. I know, that was pretty lame. Own the Wind gives us the story of Tabby and Shy. The timeline is completely wonky and the layout is different from any story I've read before, but the voice is all Kristen Ashley. Tabby is an MC brat, like a military brat, the daughter of an MC leader, raised and cherished in the culture of bikes, revolving women, and danger. Shy is one of the brothers, meaning his job is to protect his fellow brother's daughter. Not crush on her, or fall in lust with her, just keep her safe (even from her self as far as Shy is concerned). He crosses the line. She decides to hate him for eternity. And that's the start of their story. Cool, huh? It's good stuff. Here's my chat with Bookworm Brandee. We had a blast reading Own the Wind! Can't wait to hit number 2.

I'm loving it! Are you loving it? I'm still at the beginning, but it's KA all the way! And Fortnums for that one second was such a thrill! How can we love a series so much that the mere glimpse of past characters feels like we just ran into old friends at the airport? 

Off to read more (of course!!)

I stayed up later than I should have reading because yeah, I'm loving it! I don't know how it is that we can love a series so much that being in Fortnum's for a second was so awesome. But it certainly was. KA is an author who can just pull you in immediately. OtW does have a slightly different feel from other KA books we've read. I'm thinking maybe it's because there hasn't been anything least not yet. 


Dang it! It's killing me to have to stop and do anything because, as with every KA book we read, all I want to do is READ!

So yeah, I'm finding that KA's distinctive voice is present in this series as well. I really do adore the cadence with which all her badass heroes speak. Shy is no different. And I adore the Tabby isn't going to take shit - not even his.

Specifically, I was cheering even as my heart cracked when Tabby told Shy he'd made judgements and he didn't know her. And as much as I delight in reading about a badass alpha, particularly one who rides a motorcycle ;) I'm going to rant on him for a minute. I could give him a pass over his error in judgement...I didn't like that he did that but I understood where it was coming from. You know? He made me a melty puddle of goo when he was there for Tabby when she needed him to be. BUT I don't understand how he could take on a *woman* when he was just passing the time. How can guys do that? And how is that fair? (in fairness, I'm ranting at the general male population, not just Shy)

I think there are some books (and some authors) that should come with pause buttons so we can stop everything around us and read our book! I'm reading and then suddenly the phone rings or the kids demand food as if they didn't eat yesterday! Rant over. KA is awesome. OtW has a different vibe than RC and you're right about the girls not being as wild. The men are alpha enough, but in a different way, less broody and more entitled. We're bikers, deal, babe. Or not and get out. This one also jumps ahead regularly where RC cuts to the past regularly with backstory that never was annoying (a hard feat). What did you think of the time jumps? 

Oh and getting the male POV first and for a while was cool. I think we needed a solid footing with Shy or he'd piss us off too much as the story went on. He does not pull punches when he needs to "sort shit out." Then we meet Tabby and she's feisty and unforgiving. I liked that she didn't melt for Shy and held a grudge and just kept holding it. I liked how pissed that made Shy. But I loved that part when he sees her in that red dress with her man and he's on his bike. I loved how that just pushed him into wanting that love for himself and not just wanting Tabby. 

So you were pissed about the side girlfriend, huh? I was shocked and not shocked and shocked some more! I didn't know how to process it. He made me love him (not as much as Tabby, but still). They cuddled. Freaking cuddled. You don't cuddle when you have a girl. Nope. I guess I'm right there with you and Tabby. Still, they both needed a fire lit or they'd friend themselves to death! 

Okay, I've read further...of course! And Shy redeemed himself a bit in my eyes. I'm glad he explained Rosalie to Tabby. That made me feel better right along with her. I still don't completely understand but I'm glad he took the time to explain. And can I just say that once Shy starts talking, the man lays it all out. Am I right? Damn! 

The next scene in Fortnum's...loved it! Tex booming VIP, slopping coffee grounds. *sigh* And Jett telling Tabby he was harmless. Good stuff! And the talk between Tabby and Shy's brother, Landon...excellent stuff! I was really kinda wishing Shy had overheard what she had to say. Because in a way, I felt those words belonged to him first and foremost. But I was glad they were out and it did need to be said to Lan.

I'm really excited to see how Tabby is going to find that *balance* she so admires between her Dad and Tyra. The way the sparks fly between her and Shy, I'm sure we're in for a hell of a ride. :)

Fortnums! More Tex and his coffee and shouting. I loved that they had coffee there and the tension building with Landon and what he had to say, I was just as nervous at the start as Tabby. And then she let him have it in a good way because it was slightly out of control like she always is when it comes to Shy. I'm thinking we'll get a Lan book, right? Maybe a Rush book too? Her brother wasn't a big part of the story but the building conflict, the fact that he's gorgeous and bossy speak to future main character potential. 

I was still conflicted about the Rosalie situation. I liked how Tabby listened and wanted to sort it out. She let Shy have his say and she could see he needed her to listen. Way more mature than I am. 

You mentioned sparks, whoa! In battle and in love. Those two. I love how they bicker. Some people bicker and you want to close your eyes and make yourself disappear. Those two fight and I want a bag of chips and a comfy seat.

I finished earlier today. Are you finished? 

Hot damn! That's what I gotta say. We've begun *another* KA series that ROCKS! Tabby is a kickass heroine. I so enjoy watching her stand up to Shy - or try to - when she feels strongly about something. Her "freeze outs" crack me up. Shy also delighted me with always knowing just what to say...even if Tabby may not like it. And I was right about those sparks flying! But dang! Watching them find the balance...that's something.

I'm glad we're getting acquainted with other characters - particularly Tack and Tyra but I enjoyed meeting Hop, too. And Elvira! Woowheee! I'm thinking we'll enjoy seeing more of her and Malik. 

What did you think of Chaos' reaction to Tabby and Shy? It kinda broke my heart, honestly. I mean, I knew they wouldn't necessarily be happy about it but I didn't expect the way things went down. I adored how Shy handled it...what he said. I was thinking "God, I love my man" right along with Tabby. And Tabby's *talks* with both Tyra and her dad? Priceless. I could only hope to get out all that needed to be said as eloquently as she did. 

Natalie? I have to say I had no real love her that girl. Especially after she came in and said all those things she said to Tabby and Shy...about Shy. If she reappears, it's going to take a lot for me to forgive her.

Did you enjoy getting to see Lee? I'd completely forgotten about Tabby's meeting with him. And then, there he is in all his badassness. I could totally see him standing there. He's such a good guy, isn't he? I mean, he may do things in his job that stretch moral boundaries, but he's a good guy. I was tickled pink getting to see him. And that he did what he did? 

What did you think of how things went down with Shy, his aunt and uncle, and the scumbag? I wanted to hug each and every one of his brothers. They totally had his back and I was proud of them. And I was proud of Shy as well. 

The ending - and epilogue...KA made me cry!! CRY, Robyn! "I dreamed a dream..." That's good stuff right there. Left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

The only thing noticeably missing from OtW was a girl brawl. But I'm thinking we may not get one of those in this series because these babes, they're not quite as wild. I think that's kinda funny in a way. But I also think it's a reflection of the lives they live.

I freaking love this book! I can't wait until we can read the next one. 

I finished too! I was more obsessed with this one and I think it's because we haven't had a KA fix in a long time. Too long, Brandee. Not pointing fingers at anyone. I needed to follow the relationship along. I loved when they were friends. Truly. It was so good and real and they both needed that. And then when it became more and the real world jumped in with their two cents, boy. I was just as pissed at Tabby and Shy! What the hell? I loved her not holding back and LOVED Shy's speech. Hot damn! 

And Lee! I did not forget about that meeting. I thought KA forgot about it. She told us there was going to be a meeting and then said nothing more. I was waiting and waiting and she still caught me off guard. The brothers needed to go big to redeem themselves and they did. 

So you cried at the ending did you? That line "dream" line got me every single time! That was such good stuff. I told you already I loved the red dress scene. And "dream" links back to that and to the first time Shy really want something. 

What did you think of the supporting cast? I was a little frustrated with this history with Tyra and Lanie that we know nothing about but was referenced several times. Was that a novella or do you think we'll get it during Lanie's story? I think we need a Tex type figure. We need some comic relief because it looks like things are going to get serious. Still I loved it. LOVED IT! The tone and vibe were different, even the style, but not the voice. And not the dialogue. You're so right about that. 

When dear Brandee are we hitting Chaos 2? Crazy how one Superbowl bet turned into a life of its own and characters that are so part of us now! You chose to give me Rock Chick and see what happened?

Good stuff!