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confuzzledbooks

Confuzzled Books

If you are wondering what kinds of books I review and events I host, this little section is the place to look. Books I love to read: Children's, Young Adult, Paranormal and Fantasy books. Books I like to read: General Fiction, Romances, Religious Fiction, Mysteries and Biographies. So those are the genres of books I will generally review. If you send me a book outside of those areas, I'll consider it, but it may not fit my tastes. Reviews will take about 2 months to post; I try to post them around the time the book is released. On giveaways: Sending me a signed book to give away on the site is a great way to get your book noticed. I do a "mystery book" giveaway about every 2 weeks, where I read the book and twitter about it without revealing its title, then reveal what I've been reading and give it away. The whole event takes a couple weeks, and I feature the giveaway book on my blog for most of that time.

Currently reading

Blood Lite II: Overbite
Heather Graham, Jeff Strand, Kelley Armstrong, J.A. Konrath, Janis Ian, Derek Clendening, Amy Sterling Casil, Sam W. Anderson, Aaron Polson, Brian J. Hatcher, John R. Little, Joel A. Sutherland, Jordan Summers, Allison Brennan, Lezli Robyn, Scott Nicholson, Sharyn McCrum
V is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone: An ABC for Grownups
Seth Godin
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman
Parting the Veil: The Art of Nene Thomas
Nene Thomas, Bruce Coville
The Art of Amy Brown (Bk. 1)
Matthew(Read by) Ryan, Ilyana(Read by); Brown, Amy Kathleen?(Author) ; Kadushin
The Creativity Book: A Year's Worth of Inspiration and Guidance
Eric Maisel

Written For Kids But Adults Learn Too

If You Were Me and Lived in....the Mayan Empire: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time (Volume 4) - Carole P. Roman, Paula Tabor
Another book from the “If You Were Me And Lived…” series.  This edition is about the Mayan Empire.  

 

This series is great for kids to learn about history. Since I don’t have kids I think is also great for adults who do not read much history and want to learn by not getting overwhelmed with a huge history book. I learned many things that I did not know, like the fact that descendants of Mayans still live in the area and still speak Mayan. They placed boards on babies heads to elongated the head.  They embedded jewels in their teeth.

 

There is a lot of information in this little book. My only problem is the info does not really stay in my head but I think that is a me problem not a book problem.  Luckily since it is a kids book it is small and you can re-read the book quickly.

 

Carole P. Roman does a great job on the research of the history and on what to place in the books. I look forward to reading and learning more from the other books in the series.

 

Great Art With Fascinating Story

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act - Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie

Laura is obsessed with these pop stars who happen to be Gods reincarnated. The Gods come back every 90 years but do not hang around for long because they tend to die young. Some people love the Gods others think they are a nuisance or fraud. There is a murder, Lucifer aka Luci is framed and sent to jail. Laura tries to help her by talking to the other Gods and asking for help.

 

I find many of image comics have beautiful art and this one is no different. Although I will say this the art reminds me a little of the original Jem And The Holograms cartoon which is a good thing to me because I loved it back in the day. The story has some holes and still needs a lot of explaining especially all background of the Gods.

 

Many people say the writing was hard to follow. There was only one part that was hard to follow for me which was in the beginning when Laura was talking to the reporter about Luci. I couldn’t tell if the reporter was interviewing Luci from jail or the answers were coming from a flashback from Laura’s conversation with Luci. So yes there is some confusion at times but did not stop me from really liking this graphic novel’s beginning.

 

I had never really heard about this series before hand it was the cover that caught me. Now that I have read it I can’t wait to look for the second volume next visit to the bookstore.

Thriller That Thrills But Also Falls Flat

Seven Unholy Days - Jerry Hatchett

An IT geek, Matt Decker, has created a futuristic new power grid for the United States. A crazy mastermind gets into the electric system and shuts down power everywhere. As this nut gains power by causing other catastrophes in the world and claiming to be “The Messiah” and “The Devil” from the bible. Decker and his group of computer experts try there best to find this man and keep the power and other things up and running.

 

This thriller moves pretty quickly. The electric systems going down they way they did is a fear of mine. We really depend on electronics so much now a days for news, communicating with others and hospital’s life support.

 

I do not know if it was the dark points in the book that made me dislike it but I really did not connect with the characters. I connected with the terror of the different disasters because they felt like something that could happen. I do not feel that only one man could have made that all happen the way, Hart did.

 

I am not a big fan of thrillers this is second one in a month I have read. They both seemed very similar even though the stories were a little different. Both had terrorism in them. This one just fell flat like other book did as well. It this was a series I probably would not read the next one.

Fun Thriller With Some Issues... But Still Fun

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Katherine Howe
The main character, Connie Goodwin, is working to get her doctorate at Harvard.  As she looks for a topic on for her dissertation her mother asks her to clean out her grandmother’s old home. She finds strange jars full of things,  an old bible with a key and the name Deliverance Dane.  Her curiosity to find out more about Deliverance Dane leads her to a recipe book and Deliverance’s connection to the Salem witch trials.

 

It took me a little bit to fall into this book because of the times it switched back to characters that spoke with boston accents or flashing back to puritan times accents.  I could not make out what they were exactly saying sometimes. Once I did connect with the book I begin to love the characters and eventually the magic that joined them all together.

 

My main dislike is it was to easy to see where the story was going, and who the bad guy was.  There was also some dumb plots points where I felt smarter than Connie.  For one she is in search of Deliverance’s book and does not realize that the different names the book may have as she searches for it. I was practically screaming at Connie, “She is calling the book an almanac now!  Look for almanac now!”  There were so many chapters until she realized just that..

 

I really did like the characters in the book and way magic is described.  I read recently that the author Katherine Howe is writing a sequel.  I am excited for it because even with the downfalls of the book I still enjoyed it very much.  

Thrilling But Sometimes Unbelievable

The Missile Game (The Dr. Scott James Thriller Series) (Volume 1) by Glenn Shepard (2015-01-16) - Glenn Shepard
Our main character Dr. Scott James, a plastic surgeon, finds out after a minor surgery on his secretary that murder is afoot and not just one. The police and his wife believe he is the murderer as he was the only one there.  He hides and searches for answers on who is framing him.  Through this hunt he is going to find out what is going on and that terrorism ties into it all. 

 

I do not read thrillers often.  That being said, this one did keep me interested for a while. I did like the thought of the main character Dr. Scott James falling for Elizabeth especially after his wife immediately believe the worse in her husband once second after hearing about it.  What A B.I.T.C.H.! It is funny but even though she was a background character I think I hated the wife the most.  

 

The thought that everyone was blaming the doctor for every murder that kept happening seemed far fetched.  The police barely did any investigating once they got to the seen and then would start barking at Dr. James that he did it.  I had to go back and reread chapters because sometimes I did not realize I was reading another person or what they had to do with the story I was already processing.

 

Sometimes the book was too over the place other time there was just enough thrill to keep me reading. Would I read another from this series? My answer would be maybe. It was not bad it was not great.  It was just a typical thriller.

 

Horror That Tackles The Mind

Monstress Volume 1: Awakening - Marjorie M. Liu
A teenage girl searching for answers on her mother’s death and the horror that is transforming her mind and body.

 

Once you get into this graphic novel, which might take a little bit, the characters are likeable and some horrible.  They make you feel the way you should which terror, fear and a little hope for our main character.

 

The art is good reminds me of anime and manga. Only thing it is the type anime manga art I dislike.  I am not a fan of the gory, and bloody art. Maybe that is because in high school art class we watched the anime Akira over and over.  It was really gross and that is how I found some of the art. It’s really great art just not a fan of the theme.  

 

I read this because I heard good things about it and Neil Gaiman had a good quote about it.  I will probably read volume two to find out what happens.  Once I got through the beginning which is a little vague in storytelling wise but starts to come together at the end.  Still worth a read.

 

Cheerful Illustrations With Childlike Wonder

Goodnight, Dragons - Judith L. Roth, Pascal Lemaitre
Quaint illustrations of a cranky dragon and child, with a charming story of them enjoying a night together before bed.

 

I picked this book up for my two year old nephew.  I got the book not just because he is at a stage where even board books have a short life but because it had a dragon.  I love dragon stories and hope to spread that love to my nephew.  The art is one of the best things about this book.

 

The story unfortunately is a little lacking for me.  The art and writing do not quite fit sometimes and I can not really place why that is.  I do not think that is something kids would pick up on though, which is why I still purchased it.

 

In the end dragons and children are a wonderful mix.  Especially in this cute form.

Eagerly Awaited Union

Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True - Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Brigette Barrager

Adorable sequel to Uni The Unicorn. Finally fans get the see Uni and the little girl from the first book get together all because they believe in each other. I was happy to see this continuation of Uni The Unicorn as the first book ended abruptly and without conclusiveness. Getting to see the little blonde hair-girl and Uni together was bittersweet as they saved the dreary skies and magicless unicorn world. Although the story is sweet it is a little too simple and yearns for more substance by the end. The story has so much potential but not unlike the first book it runs out of steam. While I still think this is a good book there are just things as an adult that rub me the wrong way but for child I do not think they would be noticed.

Believing Is Happiness

Uni the Unicorn - Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Uni the unicorn, is unlike other unicorns.  She believes there are such things as little girls even though the other unicorns laugh at her.  Also far away a little girl believes in unicorns, unlike other children.  

 

Just the thought of Uni believing in little girls boosts the cuteness level of the book that already has art that brings innocence to the book that little children will love.

 

Many people have commented on some things that they disliked in other reviews. Two things I agree with is the book ends abruptly and the two main characters don’t meet.  It makes you long for more story.

 

Uni the unicorn is a sweet story and I can happily say there is sequel that recently came out which I will be reviewing. If you have a little girl who loves unicorns or fantasy, I think it will be fairy tale cherished for long time.

Would You Sell Yourself To Save Your Family? Rain Would...

The Color of Rain - Cori McCarthy
Teenager Rain lives in a dark world where many of the people catch an illness that robs them of their memory not unlike alzheimer's.  She has already lost both parents and a brother and she is now about to lose her younger brother, the only family she has left. She does what she has to find a cure and save him even if that means she has to sell herself to do it.

 

I had never really read a story like this.  I usually stay away from sci-fi but I was pleasantly surprised with The Color Of Rain. The fact that Rain goes to any extreme to save her brother, her friend and sometimes herself was a little shocking to me. The story had a darkness to it.  Just when you thought things might get better it got a little worse.

 

The Color Of Rain is another ones of those stories that falls in the category wanting more after finished. I wanted a sequel.  It ends well enough but I just wanted to know what else happened. I am also a little surprised it is considered a young adult book.  It does have some heavy adult themes.

 

I finished the book a few months ago and the story still sticks with me. Which to me means it was a good read.  My mind still wanders to the characters wondering what they are doing.  Or if I would sacrifice myself for my family the way Rain did. The story cuts deep and shocks your core a little but worth a read.

 

A Interesting Character That Needs To Shine

Scarlet Witch Vol. 3: The Final Hex - Marvel Comics
The continuation and final volume of Wanda aka Scarlet Witch’s stand alone series.  We are introduced to more back story and learn what the future holds for Scarlet Witch and a little about her brother Quicksilver.

 

With this final installment we learn more about Wanda’s family and what is causes problems with magick in the world. The story was intriguing and art was so so. There is a lot crammed into this volume.

 

I did feel that because I never read any of Marvel’s Civil War story or any other comics with Scarlet Witch that I was lacking some information. I also knew basic things like her being Quicksilver’s sibling and who her parentage was suppose to be. I also feel the ending to this particular storyline was rushed and I was yearning for more of Wanda’s story.

 

I would love to see more comics with Scarlet Witch. She seems to always end up in the background of other characters stories.  I think she really needs more tales just following her.  A witch with as much power as she has should not be in the background.

Fairy Retelling Based From A TV Mini Series

The 10th Kingdom - Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Kathryn Wesley
The 10th Kingdom is book that is tied to a tv movie that aired in the USA in 2000, under the same name.  It is retelling of some fairy tales and what happens after ever after.  Probably one of stories that started landslide of retelling of fairy tale movies and books.

 

I had seen the movie that this book is based on.  I love it.  I thought the book was going add on to the story or continuation of it.  It did not, it is basically a rewrite of the movie but done really well.  Since it has been 17 years (Wow!) since the movie aired I pretty much forgot a lot of the movie, so it was like a new story.  Still enjoyed it. I also loved that there were pictures of characters in the movie which made it easier to picture the actor as the characters. Love the characters Virginia and Wolf. At first I did not like them as a couple but they grow on you.  

 

I still feel there should be more after the story and wish it was a series.  I liked the stories behind the 10th Kingdoms but I do not think we will get more. It’s not the best retelling of fairy tale but it is fun and worthwhile to read or watch if you rather.

 

I really wish NBC would do more movies like this that they did in the early 2000’s.  They were bright, colorful and fanciful. Just my kind of fantasy telling.
.

 

Humor We Need That Makes The World Suck Less

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir - Jenny Lawson
After having successful blog, author Jenny Lawson, wrote this memoir from parts of her already written blog and her humor filled life...or imagination.  

 

As a blogger myself I had heard about this book through other bloggers.  I had never been to the bloggess aka Jenny Lawson blog before but now that I have read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened I am addicted to checking Jenny’s blog.  Her humor is just plain awesome.  She seems like someone I could be friends and we would laugh all day.  I that is probably romanticizing a friendship but I am trying to explain how much I love her sense of humor.

 

I have seen many reviews saying the book is not funny and whiney, or not like David Sedaris, or has to much potty mouth.   Ok first thing it is funny...so funny if have a sense of humor and do take things lightly. Secondly the book is not like David Sedaris but to me that is a blessing.  I find Sedaris unfunny and kinda mean.  As for the potty mouth, there is some but that does not bother me.  Cursing and words that make people uncomfortable for others is just part of life.  

 

I loved Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and I am now a fan of TheBloggess blog. She has a second book Furiously Happy which is added to my TBR pile.  It was actually a book that brought me out of a really bad reading slump.  I needed the humor to flood away the depression I have had recently and maybe if you are feeling the same I would say read this if it fits your humor.  

 

Sickly Sweet

The Secret Life of Squirrels: A Love Story - Nancy     Rose
This picture book is part of a series called The Secret Life Of Squirrels. This edition Mr. Peanuts has found love.  He takes his new love to bookstores, restaurants and, of course, the park.

 

I read this one around Valentine’s Day, which it is perfect for.  It is filled with very cute pictures of real squirrels in made up sets reenacting a couple dating.

 

Now the pictures are cute and so is the story. For me, I have to say it’s too cute. Like overwhelming sweet, which is why I took some stars away.  Don’t get me wrong I love squirrels they are adorable but the story gives me heartburn.

 

I am sure that children will love this book and not be overwhelmed by the sweetness. I am interested in checking out the previous books to see if I feel differently about them.

Looking For Something New Can Lead To Suspense

Rowan's Ruin - Mike Carey, Mike Perkins, Andy Troy
Our heroine Katie is looking for a place to relax and somewhere new to rejuvenate herself.  She finds a young woman in England is looking to house swap.  Katie soon finds the home she has found herself in has hidden skeletons. Spirits began to show themselves to Katie. Whether they are there to help or to hurt is something she must figure out and hopefully not too late.

 

There is a mixture of realism and mysticism which makes this graphic novel thrilling to read. The main character, Katie, finds out things about herself that she thought was bad but is just really a part of herself others don’t understand.  For example she is empathic and a medium of sorts as she sees ghosts.  When in previously in her life when mysterious things would happen her family made her take a trip to a psychiatrist who would then put in her on medication.

 

The story ends with sadness but also with hope as Katie learns that she is a strong woman with special abilities that can help herself and others once she learns to use those abilities.  I had hoped that there was going to be a series after this graphic novel.  I really liked Katie’s and the characters around her. The story moved quickly and was exciting.  I wanted more and I am sad to say that as of now Rowan’s Ruin is a stand alone.  

 

Author Mike Carey is known more for writing other comics like Lucifer, Neverwhere,
Unwritten and some X-men. Rowan’s Ruin is a hidden gem with art that may not be spectacular but fitting for the story.  

World Full of Wondrous Women

She Persisted - Chelsea Clinton, Alexandra Boiger
Daughter of former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton brings a picture book about 13 women who are a part of U.S. history and are the reason women and men have many things to feel blessed for.

 

I knew many of the women in this book, some just by name and others I had never heard. Each woman is given two pages, with wonderful art and a short but sweet description of each womans’ contribution to the world.

 

The writings for each lady is as I said short and makes me itch for more about them.  I can only hope that children get the same feeling and want to read more about these wonderful people.

 

Written by a very smart woman and mother this book is a great add to bring knowledge of people we should always remember.