Monday, March 31, 2014

Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick

Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick (pen name for Jackson Pearce)

February 27, 2014

Stand Alone

Bookologist Analysis: This book helped you peek inside to the magical world of eggs and late imperial Russia.

Source: New Teen Books at Library

"Romance, adventure, magic and history blend seamlessly into a story that is... historically sensitive and gloriously thrilling." --Kirkus, starred review

Natalya knows a secret. 

A magical Faberge egg glows within the walls of Russia's Winter Palace.

It holds a power rooted in the land and stolen from the mystics.
A power that promises a life of love for her and Alexei Romanov.
Power, that, in the right hands, can save her way of life.

But it's in the wrong hands.

An epic romance with glittering magical elements, TSARINA is swirling with beautiful prose, stark Russian contrasts, and lavish visuals perfect for fans of Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty.

This book takes you back to the last days of the Romanovs. This book takes you back to a boy with a terrible disease. This book takes you back to the meaning of young love and fantasy. Tsarina is an eloquent book on how love changes and grows.

What I liked

Russia- I just love the country/nation of Russia. It has eleven time zones and so many different landmarks and geographical points. I’ll be honest the books that got me into Russia were Vampire Academy and the Princess Diaries about Grand Duchess Anastasia. The last days of the Romanovs are particularly intense and interesting because of World War I and the political revolution happening. The patriarchal (the name meaning daughter of (daughter of Alexander would be Alexandrovna) or son of (son of Alexander would be Alexandrivich)) and Faberge eggs just add the right hint of exoticness to the plot.

Characters- The characters were all woven tightly together to end up having people with many faces and personalities

a)      Alexei- All of you have heard of Anastasia the Grand Duchess who might or might not (most likely not) have survived the shooting in Ekatinburg. Alexei was her younger brother cursed with hemophilia. Hemophilia is a blood disorder when you don’t have enough clotting factor when you bleed, so you keep on bleeding for a long time. The main character, Katerina, is madly in love with Alexei, but we only have one scene with him. I would’ve liked to see more interaction so I could judge him better since I have little previous knowledge of him.

b)      Katerina- This is a noble girl that is a daughter of a high ranking general of the best regiment in Russia, but still only a lady. She understands the wants of the Reds, yet still is a white. She wants to help the people of Russia, but the wealthy are always happy with the current situation.  I liked the way that she realizes that you can find middle ground on a topic. She also knows a bunch of tricks that helps her keep on top of things

Plot- Kept on rolling you just couldn’t guess it. I mean coming up with fantastical ideas for the reason for the Russian revolution. The one thing that disappointed me though was that the author was approached for this book; it wasn’t her idea.

What I Didn’t Like

Nothing (besides more involvement of secondary characters)

This book is definitely a must read. End of story. Just read.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review I am Rembrandt's Daughter

I am Rembrandt’s Daughter by Lynn Cullen

Available Now-2007

Stand Alone

320 Pages

Bookologist Analysis: This book took you back in time to crazy artists. I like seeing history from the perspective.

With her mother dead of the plague, and her beloved brother newly married and moved away, Cornelia van Rijn finds herself without a friend or confidante--save her difficult father. Out of favor with Amsterdam's elite, and considered brash and unreasonable by his patrons, Rembrandt van Rijn, once revered, is now teetering on the brink of madness. Cornelia alone must care for him, though she herself is haunted by secrets and scandal. Her only happiness comes in chance meetings with Carel, the son of a wealthy shipping magnate whose passion for art stirs Cornelia. And then there is Neel, her father's last remaining pupil, whose steadfast devotion to Rembrandt both baffles and touches her. Based on historical fact, and filled with family dramas and a love triangle that would make Jane Austen proud, I Am Rembrandt's Daughter is a powerful account of a young woman's struggle to come of age within the shadow of one of the world's most brilliant and complicated artists.

When I was younger I had an obsession with Cleopatra Selene (she was the daughter of Cleopatra and Marcus Antony; she later became the queen of Mauritania). I’ve always had an interest in the people that history overlooks. Cornelia van Rijn is an overlooked part of history.

 The Backstory- Before this book I had only heard of Rembrandt as a famous artist. After googling him I saw Night Watch, I do remember hearing about that piece. Seeing Rembrandt you can see the true artists’ craziness. I mean you could really get it even if you have no idea about artists in the Netherlands.

Overall I like the book. This book was more about finding herself than a real plot. It is very inspirational. The romance in this book is more old timey. Overall I liked the book and would give it a 4. The one thing I didn’t like was the random backstories between chapters about different paintings.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Room By Book The 100

Room by Book is feature done by yours truly where I put together collages of rooms/furniture that fit the book. All credits are below the picture.

The 100 (book cover) by Kass Morgan
Maxime Dining Chair (Green Velvet) by Johnathan Adler
Pablo Tube Top Table Lamps by Pablo from Design Public
Loyal Blue by Sherwin-Williams
West Street Quilted Coverlet Set by Z Gallerie
Hancock White Bookcase by CB2

This is what I think Wells' room on the Phoenix would  be like. The furniture is simple like the bookcase, but they have fancy/rich versions of it. The bed sheets are monochromatic, but have texture. The chair is modern, yet has a lime color to it. The hint of being on spaceship comes from the dark blue paint, just like a night sky. The utilitarian design of the bookcase shows that resources are scarce. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Beginning & Friday 56 I am Rembrandt's Daughter

Book Beginning is hosted by Rose City Reader. Where you share the first sentence of the book your reading, thoughts, impression, and inspiration from that. The Friday 56 by Freda's Voice. It is where you share a sentence from the 56th page or 56% of your ereader and thoughts/impression without spoiling.

This week is I am Rembrandt's Daughter by Lynn Cullen.

Book Begginnings:
"All those years living across the canal from the New Maze Park, and I never did make it inside." 
Who is this girl that is restricted and doesn't get to do things? What is this New Maze Park that is important?

Friday 56:
"'Maybe you ought to let Titus talk to him first, now that their ties are stronger.' 'No need. I will let my painting do the talking.'"
This person wants another to do something, but they won't, why? What painting is so great that it can talk? Why is Titus close to them and another man who judges paintings?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review The 100

The 100 by Kass Morgan

Available Now

First Book in The 100 Series

Bookologist Analysis: This book instead of going down from space the rating was actually more towards the spaceship (high rating). The stories however were more different novellas with in a novel.

Source: New Teen Book Shelf at Library

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents -- considered expendable by society -- are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves -- but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.

I felt this book showed the continuation of human spirit through the highs and the lows (being thrown off the world because of nuclear wars/disasters). We got to see several people find love despite being on a socially divided hierarchical ship (spaceship) and Communist “world”.

What I Didn’t Like

1  Several Narratives-The story went between many different people that weren’t even all related. Glass was on the ships that were still in space going through ridiculous love story (too sappy for me). Wells was a person that I found had good intentions, but was misguided.  Clarke I felt thought she deserved too much- with her acting like a brat, not looking back at Wells, or even second guessing Octavia. Bellamy cares too much about Octavia and doesn’t get the importance of saving the human race. The characters just felt very frustrating and didn’t really grow and their plots went in circles.

2   Character Development- The characters in this book don’t grow; they just continued on with their own little world. Glass didn’t do anything heroic; she just felt the need to save people over Luke. Wells and Clarke could’ve taken better care of the camp on Earth. Bellamy was selfish to the point you could just chalk it off to love. Overall, I hope that all of them just grow up over the series.

    Lack of Worldbuilding- The 100 had a lot of events that I didn’t understand. The Catalyst and all of that humbug. I need a timeline of just a lecture on all of the future events that lead to the end of the world (yippee!). Maybe, there will be a companion textbook that they use in one of their courses (i.e.: Earth Biology (like there’s biology on a spaceship), Earth History).

What I Liked:

1   Space- I mean who doesn’t like big stars and fiery planets. The idea of living in a spaceship is always a timeless classic in the sci-fi genre. My favorite scene in space was the comet scene where they brought out the instruments from Earth twice of year (oh, my what, will the air do to them [sarcasm])! 

This book was a disappointment to me because it has such a complex cover- a montage of space and romantic pictures. I will probably keep up with the series just to see what happens (maybe the next book will be better).  Let’s just hope it doesn’t happen in real life or we are screwed for sure. Rating: ⭐️

Friday, March 14, 2014

Review The Wanderers

The Wanderers by Jessica Miller

Book One in The Wanderers Series

Bookologists Analysis: This book picks up with mystery and romance as it rolls
New Adult (just a warning, there is some mature content)

Thank you to the author Jessica Miller for the e-copy she gave to me. It’s greatly appreciated.

What do you do when you learn your family is the one who's holding all the secrets? Secrets that could get you killed... 

Ella is looking forward to starting college in the fall with her best friend Josie. She’s looking for a place where she can get away from her overbearing parents and two older annoying brothers. Unfortunately Ella realizes that sometimes the past comes back to haunt you. 

Ella soon learns that the man who terrorizes her dreams is in fact real and coming after her. 

When one of her classmates is murdered, Ella slowly recognizes this is not some strange coincidence. Ella fears that the boy she’s falling in love with is the one who stalks her dreams and no longer knows who she can trust. 

When she finally learns the truth of her families’ deepest secret, Ella has to face her demons by taking out one of the people she thought she could trust…before they kill her.

This book’s title seems to be following the usual trend to pick titles that are not related to the actual subject of the book such as Shadow and Bone, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, or you get the idea. The book in the beginning is quite slow as it is just a typical story of a girl going to university getting over the death of a boyfriend. It really picks up with Tristan (are they mates?? is that a thing in the vampire world).

This book starts off as a slow read that makes you want to quit the book, but hold on I promise it’s a great book. Ella ends up at college with her best friend Josie and they end up rooming together without planning to. There is this cute guy named Tristan down the hall is an obvious player, but he still is pursuing Ella. She tries to resist his charms, but what would a romance book be without romance, after all?

I liked the writing after all and it was actually a tolerable book in ebook form. Most books I just lose interest in them over a couple of days because flipping pages has a certain feel to it (despite it being unsustainable). This book the romance triangle was believable with her best friend also finding a really cute guy named Billy (where do authors come up with these names?). I also liked the gay guy because putting minorities in is very good. This was a superb supernatural college romance book that picks up right in the middle.

The decision to fall in love is an abrupt one that Ella only makes after doing the stupid thing and spending time with Tristan. I found that kind of unrealistic, but it was okay because they were meant for each other. This book was an absolute doll in its way of unveiling the mysterious world of NA vampire novels.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Room by Book Curtsies & Conspiracies

Room by Book is feature done by yours truly where I put together collages of rooms/furniture that fit the book. All pictures' credits are below the picture
Swan Art Poster- Albert Blue by Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpaper based on illustrations Walter Crane
Sofa 1840-1860 England from Victoria and Albert Museum
German Black Lacquered Telescopic Music Stand Circa 1860-70 by J.Ch. Detmering, Hamburg from 1st dibs
Persian Garden Carpet from Iran second half 18th century from Metropolitan Museum of Art
Curtsies & Conspiracies (book cover) by Gail Carriger

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Review Curtsies & Conspiracies

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Available Now

Finishing School - Book the Second 

Bookologist Analysis: This book was an awesome Victorian steampunk set on a dirigible.

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won't Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this bestselling sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail's distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

What is better than being able to fly, go to boarding school, living as a lady, and learning how to be spy? Nothing. That is what makes the Finishing School and Sophronia so attractive the magical appeal that is impossible to find anywhere else. The characters and plot were secondary to the magnificent backdrop that the book is sent against.

Sophronia is a model character. For she both is extremely intelligent herself (she gets the highest scores for a six-month ever and is able to solve problems that the staff itself has trouble solving). Sophronia also depends on her friend just like any other person does, but she also uses them to her advantage. Sidheag is a girl that you can see struggles to be the person that she is supposed to be, but was brought up differently. Her military training however will never cease to amaze me with her directness. I call her and Captain Naill getting together. Vieve is cool little girl that is trying to cross boundaries. The romance triangle between Soap and Lord Mersey is played out a bit too much I feel. Dimity and Agatha are a bit too much of wimps for me. Supporting characters in this book are well played.

The plot itself is well chosen to carry it over from the last book. The valve is still central to the entire book. However, I felt all the references to Etiquette & Espionage are too much because I forgot some of it since I read it a couple of months ago. Teachers always being double spies are a bit old considering it was already there in the last book. I think the plot was getting a bit old; however I liked the add-on of the world building. We learned more about the supernatural states of vampires and werewolves, but I would like to know how they were there (such as is it hereditary, what is their social structure, etc.). The plot was a bit too connected to the old book to be considered a completely new book.

Overall this book did fall into a bit of a sequel slumper, but the only thing that saved it from being an entire slumper is the fact that it had flying schools and spies (extra brownie points any day).  The book was a magnificent example of Victorian steampunk England. I do hope Gail is able to bring it up out of the dishes because I like Sophronia and her posse.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review The Shadowhunters' Codex

The Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis

Available Now

Companion to Mortal Instruments

Bookologist Analysis: Textbooks of fantasy with writing are always entertaining.

Delve into the details of all things Shadowhunter with this illustrated guide to the knowledge and lore of the Shadowhunter world.

Since the thirteenth century, the Shadowhunter’s Codex has been the one and only manual for Shadowhunters looking to brush up on their demon languages, learn proper stele use, and discover just what exactly a pyxis is. Featured in both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, this guide is a necessity for any young Nephilim on their journey to becoming a Shadowhunter. Beautifully illustrated, the Codex contains images of the famous Shadowhunter homeland of Idris, as well as depictions of demons and other Downworlders.

But this isn’t just any copy of The Shadowhunter’s Codex. It’s Clary’s copy, and as an artist herself, she’s sketched pictures of her friends and family in the book, and scrawled helpful advice in the margins. Of course, she couldn’t exactly stop Jace or Simon from adding their thoughts either. Part encyclopedia, part history, part training manual—complete with commentary from Shadowhunters who have seen it all—this beautiful guide is a perfect supplement to the #1 New York Times bestselling series
Obviously reviewing a textbook is kind of impossible because there is no plot (it’s in the Mortal Instruments). The characters are already established and the information is new. So this review with be shorter. As usual comment and share. Email me at
I remember sitting in History class as when I was in fifth grade loving to read the textbook and always being disappointed because we never finished it. There would be all sorts of infographics, pictures, and sidebars. I’ve always had a love affair with textbooks and all the information you can get out of references from specific subject books. Some of the sidebars however are pretty boring and redundant as Jace kindly points out (life experience means you have an extra 30 seconds). The Codex is a wonderful wealth of information for the series and companion novels.

The Codex is also filled with all these great drawings from Clary and the regular Codex drawings. Clary’s drawing include a lot of Jace (they need a fan attached to the book) and of a Silent Brother which is by far my favorite. The banter between Clary and Jace is so serious that you want to crack up, though Simon does mention getting a room a bit too much for my taste, but his sarcasm covers it all nicely. The codex is original with all of its nice individualized pieces.

The Codex is a nice companion book to the Mortal Instruments, but is not a necessary read. I can’t wait however for the last book in the Mortal Instruments that is due out soon. Jace and Clary forever and magical textbook for the win

Monday, March 3, 2014

Room by Book The Girl With Borrowed Wings

Room by Book is feature done by yours truly where I put together collages of rooms/furniture that fit the book. All pictures' credits are down below.

17th- 18th century Thai cabinet from Metropolitan Museum
Early 20th Century Table from Punjab, India from Victoria and Albert Museum
Lola Mundo designed 1986 by Philippe Starck from Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Stool by Chokew People in Angola in early 19th Century from Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
The Girl With Borrowed Wings (book cover) by Rinsai Rossetti

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Review The Girl with Borrowed Wings

The Girl With Borrowed Wings by Rinsai Rossetti

Available Now

Standalone (as far as I know)

Bookologist Analysis: This book was floating on the sky with wings as it flew far away.

Controlled by her father and bound by the desert, Frenenqer Paje feels like a list of rules in the shape of a girl. Then a small act of rebellion explodes her world and she meets a boy, but not just a boy-- a Free person, a winged person, a shape-shifter. He has everything Frenenqer doesn't. No family, no attachment, no rules. And at night, he flies them to the far-flung places of their childhoods to retrace their pasts. But when the delicate balance of their friendship threatens to rupture into something more, Frenenqer must confront her isolation, her father, and her very sense of identity, breaking all the rules of her life to become free.

A desert in an oasis not an oasis in a desert. This is how Frenenqer lives in a place that is supposed to be a flowing fountain of plenty where there is supposed to be life, but rather there is a constricting heat where you are a woman and cannot leave.  Frenenqer feels the extreme caged feeling that is brought on by her family, specifically her father, and the culture she is forced to move to.

You might get a little creeped out, but if you think about it most YA books are written by people many years older than the characters in the book. Surprisingly, Rinsai was eighteen when she wrote the book and got published at twenty-one, which means you feel an actual teenager talking. This book felt like someone’s life story to the extreme. Having all the rules you have to follow as a teenager is represented by Frenenqer’s father and the desert. Her mother is this innocent person dragged into all of this that doesn’t want to do anything.  Frenenqer gets away from all of her reality by controlling her friend; she’s a little sadistic which I like she wants to pushes Anju to be her secretary till she breaks which I find is almost a release for her. The permanent solution though is Sangris –a boy that takes Frenenqer wherever she wants to go -from Thailand to France. You really feel the angst of a real teenager in this book. You feel the strings that are not attached anywhere that is floating towards the sky with nowhere to land till they find someone to attach to.

Sangris is this free spirit who is coincidentally called a Free Person. Free Person is not a species, but rather a term used for any unattached shape shifter. He has nothing and we know next to nothing about him except that he is often restless and floating around the world(s).  We happen to meet him in a souk as a cat (weird place to find your best friend). He pays Frenenqer back by taking her anywhere in the world. I find it so unbelievably awkward to see a girl brought up in restrictive household and society that has the emotional tools of a thirteen year old to learn her way around a boy (if you can call a shape shifter that). He obviously has a crush on Frenenqer as he shows up almost every night to go everywhere from Thailand to Copenhagen, but for the majority this book is set in an oasis in the UAE. Sangris teaches Frenenqer about the world and it is delightful to see her make a friend whom she trusts. It’s the beauty in the love story to see a strong free willed boy to come to love a girl with mental blocks come to love a boy whom she is comfortable around even in just a shirt (big no-no in the Middle East).

This book I have to say over all that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and really hope there is a sequel. The book was going to an extremes we all feel at the hands of our parents. It is also story about how you should never love or worship somebody who wants you to only a mold of what you are (*coughs* Frenenqer’s father).  Love people who love you and admit it when you are sure you love them too.  Don’t let other people have to suffer at your hands as Sangris did for a whole year falling for Frenenqer. Mental blocks you have should be knocked down as soon as possible. This book is full of lessons that you should take to heart.

This book is definitely one of my favorite books that I have read in the last couple months. The one thing it lacked however was world building. I mean who else lives in Ae. Are Free People the only sort of flying/shape shifting species out there? I hope there is sequel where we see the rest of the people and more of an action plot than romance plot. This book is beautifully written for Rinsai most of kissed the Blarney Stone while she was traveling. Read it and see a girl break barriers- physical, mental, and social.