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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday Chatter #13: Does it matter if you don't connect with characters?

Wednesday Chatter is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books where we'll be talking about anything and everything related to books and reading. Click here if you want to see what we talked about in the previous weeks

WARNING: Some bad words might be used in the following post. Don't say I didn't warn you!

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Hey guys! Happy Wednesday! Today I want to talk to you about characters. I said this in a comment for a blog post a few weeks ago (if I find the post, I'll share!), but for me a lot of times the characters are more important than the plot itself. It's good to read about a good story, but most of the time how I relate to characters, how I feel about them, influence my reading experience.

When I was in school, I used to not enjoy most of the books that we had to read for Literature class. And that's due in part to the fact that they were classic novels, which bore me, but also to the fact that I really didn't care about the characters. The books that I did enjoy were the books that made me give a damn if a character lives or dies.

So this got me thinking. Of all the books I end up DNFing, how many of those are influenced by my lack of connection with the characters? The answer is about 70%, which is a lot. But seriously, most of the books I love are books that made me feel something for those characters.

I usually struggle the most with books written from one character's POV. If I hate that character, or if I don't understand their reasoning, chances are I won't like the book. My problem however doesn't stem from not relating to the character. This probably is due to either my brain being wired differently, or to the fact that my day-to-day job is as a psychologist, but I don't believe I need to relate to a character or to know what they're going through in order to understand their story or to like it. My problem usually involves those characters that I can't stand. Or those characters I can't understand, the ones that make me roll my eyes so hard, I get dizzy and get a headache over they're actions.

What about you? Do you care if you don't have any feelings, positive or negative, towards a character? Is it a deal breaker for you and does it make you DNF a book faster than a book with a not-so-good plot?

Book Review: Dead in the Water by Hailey Edwards

Author: Hailey Edwards
Series: Gemini #1
Publisher: CrushStar Multimedia LLC
Release Date: January 30th 2016
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Camille Ellis is the Earthen Conclave’s golden girl. Her peculiar talent solves cases with a touch. She isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty, but every bright star casts a shadow, and her deepest scars lurk just beneath the skin.

A routine consultation goes sideways when a victim’s brother gets involved in the investigation. Riding the edge of grief, the warg will go to any lengths to avenge his sister’s death. Even if it means ensuring Cam’s cooperation at the jaws of his wolf.

When the killer strikes again, Cam is caught between a warg and a hard place. To save the next victim, she must embrace her past. Even if it means dragging her darkest secrets into the light of day.

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and CrushStar Multimedia LLC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It's always a pleasure going back to a favorite author, if for no other reason than knowing I'm going to enjoy reading their book. So it shouldn't surprise you when I'll say that I adored the newest book by Hailey Edwards.

Urban fantasy, with a kick-ass heroine, a hot hero and a dangerous mission? Yes, please and thank you! I started reading this book not realizing that it was connected to two other series. I found that little detail a few days ago, on the author's website. The thing that surprised me a lot, though, was the fact that reading the book, there isn't a sense of something missing or of confusion. Which is such a great thing, because it is really easy to get me confused if I read books out of order. This just felt like I was getting little pieces out of a giant puzzle, that make sense separately, but that when put together they make up a giant picture. So I'm definitely going to check out the other books.

My heart broke for Cam the entire time I read this book. During the entire story it seems like she's on a mission to redeem herself, all the while punishing herself. It was sad and heartbreaking. To add to her pain, her boss is horrible to her. I do want to know more about Cam's powers, because they're very interesting and unique. I also want to know what else she can do.

Graeson is a very hot warg, let me start with that! The poor guy went through a difficult time in this book, which is probably why Cam was able to relate to him so much. I respect his sense of duty. Even though he was in pain, he managed to overcome his need for revenge and try to do the right thing. I can't wait to learn more about him and about his role in the warg pack.

There's a secondary character that I absolutely adored, named Harlow. She was absolutely hilarious at times and I loved her a lot. I can't help but keep my fingers crossed that she'll one day get her own series, because this lady deserves it. Plus, it would be highly fascinating to be in her head for a while.

I have to talk about the ending as well. It killed me. One moment I'm reading and turning the pages on my app, the next thing I know, it's like I'm watching a two-part tv show episode and they say "Tune in next week to learn how this story ends". WHAAAt? This book ends on a major cliffhanger and I was shocked by it. However, I have to say, this makes me even more curious to see how the story ends, if the good guys win, if the bad guy is caught, if the bad guy turns out to be who I think he/she is, and all that.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book a lot and I can't wait for more.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Obsessed With Covers #32: Masquerade, The Republic of Thieves, Masks and Shadows

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P


Tomorrow the Venice Carnival ends and I thought it would be good idea if I went searching for some carnival inspired covers out there. I found a few gorgeous, gorgeous ones that I'm very happy to share with you.

There's something about the full mask that makes this cover very mysterious. I love the fact that I can't be sure if that's a woman or a man behind the mask. I also love that there's no color on the mask at all, highlighting the cover model's gorgeous blue eyes. And I like that the mask is bigger than Rialto bridge's silhouette. I want to know what secret the model hides, I want to know why the mask is needed. I assume there's something revolving around her/his identity, maybe they did something terrible in the past or maybe they just hide from their family's legacy. Simply put, I want to know everything there is to know about this person and their secrets

Marquerade - Melissa de la Cruz

The fact that this cover features one of the most famous Venetian masks is why I noticed it in the first place. I also can't help but notice that despite the title, it seems like the masked woman either just killed someone or barely escaped a brutal fight. Either way, I love the contrast between her black clothes and bloody swords, and the pristine red robes of the man behind her. It seems, in a way, that she's protecting him at all costs, while he hides behind her, plotting. The foggy background makes me think that this idea of someone plotting isn't too far off (I always think someone plans something entirely evil on a foggy day. Foggy days are creepy to me, okay?). I also can't help but notice that the cover isn't similar to the other covers from this series (bummer!). But the cover is gorgeous and I want to know what the series is about.

The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch

I love the colored smoke. Despite the mask, the smoke is the first thing I noticed. Plus, the violet and blue combination of colors, which is one of my favorite color combo ever. The one thing that I can't get past though is the fact that not only is the person wearing a mask to conceal their identity, they also have their eyes closed. So you really have no idea who is behind that mask, not even a tiny clue. I'm also intrigued by the curtains, which made me think about the opera or a theater. So I get the sense that this person is really powerful, influential, but also someone that is controlling things from behind the scenes if that makes sense. Also, I love how the "shadows" from the title are around the person, while the building almost has a spotlight on it. I'm very curious about the book, now.

Masks and Shadows - Stephanie Burgis

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