Reading Beneath The Moon

Eclectic Reviews From An Eclectic Reader

24 Hour Readathon!

I've got tons of books lined up for the event and I can't wait for 7am to roll around so I can dig into them. Here are my selections:

Bout of Books 11.0 Readathon!

I haven't read much at all this summer, due to a lot of stuff going on. I have a lot of free time (for once) this week and thought that this would drag me right out of my slump. Here are my goals...

Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight

Laini Taylor

517 Pages

Published November 6th, 2012

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.
Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them. 
And its snap split the world in two.” 

Few authors can take my breath away as effectively as Laini Taylor. Her writing style is flawless, leading me down a long and winding tunnel full of secrets and mysteries. Something about the way the words she crafts flow on the page entices me, drawing me in until I'm so far gone I can't stop reading for anything. Her words.. have an almost lyrical quality to them - and that's what I love most about this series.

“Dead souls dream only of death. Small dreams for small men. It is life that expands to fill worlds. Life is your master, or death is”  

So many things happen in this book, I don't even know where to start. Inevitably this book will have spoilers for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so If you haven't dove into that one yet stop this review here and go read it. Now. Seriously. It's amaze-balls.  

The previous book left off with Karou discovering so much about herself that it was astounding - including that she's actually a chimera and belongs in a whole different world. In Days of Blood and Starlight we are shown this world and all that it means. It's not a friendly place, being ruled over by the tyrannical beast Thiago that seems to lust after and hate Karou all at once. There's a lot at stake and the world was bathed in blood. 

“Take up a weapon and you become an instrument with as pure a purpose as the weapon itself: to find arteries and open them, limbs and sever them; to take what is alive and deliver it unto death.”  

War has broken out between the Seraphim and the Chimera, and things are quickly growing drastic. Both rulers will stop at nothing to completely annihilate the opposite race. Akiva and Karou are separated and the relationship between them in tatters. Long gone is their plans to bring peace to their lands, they both have other things on their minds. While I was hoping to see more romance between the two of them, I actually ended up really enjoying the story without it. 

“It was funny, she thought, but her smile turned wistful because she had nobody to tell.” 

While Karou was working as a resurrectionist in the Chimera world, Akiva was off in his own world with his brother and sister, trying to make it through each day. His only hopes are to receive forgiveness from Karou and to save her people. His good intentions really shined through when he went out of his way to save Chimera that he was really supposed to be slaughtering. Though Karou had grown wary of him, viewing him as just another Seraphim, something to be feared, he had a pure heart and soul.  

“It wasn't disgust she felt for Karou, not anymore; it was indignation. Incredulity. A man like Akiva crosses worlds to find you, infiltrates the enemy capital just to dance with you, bends heaven and hell to avenge your death, saves your comrade and kin from torture and death, and you send him off looking gut-punched, diminished, carved hollow?” 

Though we meet and get to know many characters in this second installment, one of my favorites was missing - Brimstone. The story was more heart-breaking without his antics and streak of hope. Everything seemed more desolate without him around and it was obvious I wasn't the only one affected. Karou grieves for him often, remembering how he took her under his wing and saved her from death. It's clear the Laini Taylor isn't afraid of ripping my heart out and stomping all over it. 

“Daughter of my heart,' was the message Brimstone sent just for Karou. She wanted to cry again right here in the court, thinking of it. 'Twice-daughter, my joy. Your dream is my dream, and your name is true. You are all of our hope.” 

Death abounds in these books, and I'm sure there will be an even bigger blood bath in Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Everything about these books make me giddy - even the tragedies that seem to occur every few chapters. Seldom is a series ever written so beautifully. I'm off to read the last book now. 

Book Blogger Summer Reading Challenge

I'm so excited for this challenge! I feel like an over-achiever since I'm really trying to up the anti and tackle my towering TBR pile. My goals for May 1st - Sep 1st is to read 60 books. That's an average of 15 books a month, something that should be totally doable with my reading speed. Among these 50 books, I hope to read these...

  • Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
  • Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi
  • Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Moss
  • Eleanor and Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Obviously that's not even close to 60 but these are my most anticipated reads this summer! How many books are you tackling these 4 months?

Book Review: Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy Mcginnis

Not A Drop To Drink

Mindy McGinnis

320 Pagrs

Published September 24th, 2013

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

“There's a famous line from a poem about the ocean," Mother had finally said to end the discussion. "'Water water every where, but not a drop to drink.” 

In a future not too distant from our present world, the earth has pretty much gone to hell. Just decades ago water ran freely from faucets, a luxury that we take for granted every day of our live's. Now, a new and hostile environment has cropped up: one where water is scare and disease runs rampant. Cholera has spread across the country like wildfire, destroying civilization faster than a nuclear war. Violence is abundant, people doing anything and everything they can to survive in a barren wasteland that fights to rid itself of humans.

Somehow, the earth has run low on water. It started off slowly: water first had to be bought from the city, but was still freely available. Panic arose and things quickly escalating: the only way to get water being to live straight in the city. Crowded places bring disease and death, even with the guaranteed water supply many people thought it unsafe.

“Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.”

Lynn and her mother were two people who stayed as far from the city as possible. Their little farm felt safe, blockaded from the rest of human civilization. Without their farm they wouldn't survive. A small pond keeps them from having to travel to forage for water, but this freedom comes with a lofty price. Dangers run rampant, even out in the countryside. 

“Do you want to die like this?" Mother had asked, that night and every night since then.
Lynn's answer never changed. "No."
And Mother's response, their evening prayer. "Then you will have to kill.” 

Men weren't afraid to kill to get water, food or shelter, water being the main driving factor in their cruelty. Lynn grew up with a coldness to her, a hard shell that wrapped around her being and kept emotions put to the side, locked away in a dark closet. She had no qualms about killing anyone and anything that crept close to their property. She'd been raised with the sole purpose of surviving her decaying world, and in the start of Not a Drop to Drink she knew no different. 

“Type of men who gather up seven of themselves to attack two women in the middle of the night generally won't go back for dead friends.” 

Like I said, people in this book weren't kind. Gore was definitely present and Mindy McGinnis didn't hold back on any of the details. The churning of my stomach become a common feeling whilst reading this, but I still couldn't put it down, even to stop the queasiness. The characters were fantastic, even hard-hearted Lynn who eventually turned around, but not so much that she was weak. No, Lynn was always strong and had all the skills to survive and thrive on her own. I have to admit though, I loved her a whole lot more once she lightened up a bit and let herself feel. Feeling is good Lynn. Really. 

"Tough caring about people, isn't it?"
... "Wouldn't trade it," she said.” 

Not your average post-apocalyptic tale, Not a Drop to Drink was solely the story of a young girl's survival in a dessert-like environment and the friends she makes along the way. A fantastic read that I gobbled up in just two sittings. 

Bout of Books 10.0 Sign-up!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I'm not sure which books I'm going to read yet, though Graceling will likely be on the list. Once I'm sure of my goals I'll make a new post and take a picture of my stack!

Introducing Myself...

Hi all!

The name's Cassandra, though I often go by Cass. I've been a complete book whore for as long as I remember. If you go by what my mom says, I've been reading since two years old. I'm a 20-something year old mama to two wonderful kiddos that rock my world.

I'm into all things YA and the occasional adult book, though I have to be in the right mindset for adult fiction. My favs are dystopian, sci-fi and fantasy. Contemporary reads are great in my book as well, but nothing can beat a good fantasy setting.

I started Reading Beneath the Moon because:

  • The book blogging community is super awesome!
  • I have an obsession with reading that no on in real life understands.
  • I want to make like-minded friends.
  • I want a way to stay up to date on all the awesome books that are published. 
Well, that's enough for now. Wish me luck on this journey!!