Water for Elephants

water for elephantsWater for Elephants

Written By: Sara Gruen

Published By: Algonquin Books

Read: July 25-26, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future.

By morning, he’s landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he’s in love.

In an America made colourless by prohibition and the Depression, the circus is a refuge of sequins and sensuality. But behind the glamour lies a darker world, where both animals and men are dispensable. Where falling in love is the most dangerous act of all…

I read this book as part of #TBRTakedown as a book that has been on my TBR for more than one year. I will keep my review short since this book has been out for many years, and has already been read and reviewed many times.

Jacob is a man who has lost everything in the span of a week. When he accidentally joins a circus he will find so much more than he bargained for. The love of a forbidden woman, an unlikely group of friends and an entire cast of circus animals that he yearns to protect. Every character is so unique and well thought out. I loved every character!

This book was such a fascinating read, I enjoyed every single page. It was beautifully written and heartbreaking at every turn. I flew through it and I highly recommend it!

2015 Reading Challenge- A Book That Became A Movie

Recommended for Fans of: Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Romance

Suggested to Read Next: The Help

Top Ten Tuesday [9]

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds



Harry Potter


to killa mock


The Book Thief


The Fault in Our Stars




Looking for Alaska


The Help


Eleanor and Park

Eleanor & Park

Beauty and the Beast


I couldn’t help but add Belle! She is such a wonderful character and she is just perfect! What books (or movies) do you love that have characters that read? Any that you recommend that I read? Let us know in the comments!

TBR Takedown

I am participating in my first read-a-thon! I will be taking part in the #TBRTakedown hosted by Shannon @LeaningLights. The read-a-thon takes place from July 25-31. Below are the prompts and the books that I choose.

1. First Book In A Series

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

2. Sequel Book In A Series

Days of Blood and Starlight

3. A Book Out Of Your Comfort Zone

sherlock holmes

4. A Book On Your Shelf For Over A Year

water for elephants

5. Most Recently Hauled Book

The Good Girl

Are you participating in the #TBRTakedown? If you are post a link to your blog or find me on Twitter (@bmariereads)! Have you read any of the books that I am reading for the read-a-thon? Let us know in the comments!

New Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Pure Insanity

Pure InsanityNew Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Pure Insanity

Written By: Sean Ryan

Art By: Jeremy Roberts, Tom Derenick and Various Others

Published By: DC Comics

Read: July 20-21, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

Setting the world’s most dangerous super-criminals against the most insidious threats to national security: that’s the idea behind the elite black-ops unit officially designated as Task Force X. It’s perfect…on paper.

But the real world rarely goes according to plan. Threats evolve. Teammates turn on each other. Blood and betrayals flow like rivers. And that’s why Task Force X is better known as the Suicide Squad.

Vic Sage aims to change the equation. Replacing Amanda Waller as the puppet-master of Suicide Squad’s motley crew, he’s introducing wild cards like Deathstroke and the Joker’s Daughter to whip the existing team-Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Black Manta-into shape. But the world’s deadliest assassin and the Clown Princess of Crime have ideas of their own…and no explosive implants to keep them in line.

Can this new Suicide Squad survive-or will it implode before it even begins?

Collects issues #1-8

Let me start by saying that this is the first graphic novel that I have ever read. I needed to read a graphic novel as part of the reading challenge that I am participating in. I am a fan of the DC Universe, as well as the Marvel Universe, so when I saw this graphic novel on NetGalley it seemed as good a choice as any. I had to download a compatible program to my computer to be able to read it and it was sort of a pain to read since the program didn’t offer dual page view. Besides the less than ideal reading conditions I really enjoyed it reading it!

I didn’t know a lot about the characters or story line when I first started New Suicide Squad Vol. 1. In fact, I didn’t really know what to expect since I had never read a graphic novel before. This volume consisted eight issues. There were two separate missions consisting of four issues each with an ongoing story line throughout all eight issues.

I found that reading a graphic novel is pretty much identical to reading any other book but with the addition of artwork. I loved the art! Not only did it add to the ongoing written story but it told a story all by itself. If you were to take away all of the written words the art would still be able to tell an amazing story. There was amazing attention to detail to both the art and the layout. I loved the style and everything about it was bold. The Joker’s Daughter was my favorite piece of art in the entire volume. She was dark and creepy and so incredibly well drawn.

Obviously the story is just as important as the art and I was not disappointed! There was a large cast of characters with Mrs. Waller, Vic Sage, Black Manta, Harley Quinn and Deadshot appearing in all eight issues and many other characters appearing in one of the two missions within the volume. My favorite character was either Joker’s Daughter or Harley Quinn. They were both balancing on the line of sanity and I loved their relationship throughout the first four issues. I also really enjoyed the struggle for power between Mrs. Waller and Vic Sage.

As far as the plot goes I thought that it was wonderful. It was well thought out and flowed flawlessly from issue to issue. It was packed with action from the first page to the last. A task force consisting of villains is such a fun idea and I think that it was executed perfectly. I enjoyed every minute of my first graphic novel and I plan on reading more in the future. I think that the highest complement that I can give The New Suicide Squad Vol. 1 is that it has converted me to a lover of graphic novels. I highly recommend it!

2015 Reading Challenge- A Graphic Novel

Recommended for Fans of: Graphic Novels and Fantasy

Suggested to Read Next: Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin

Top Ten Tuesday [8]

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters

Below are ten books that I have read and loved that had diverse characters or celebrated diversity. I think of a diverse character as any character that breaks the norm of what is often seen in young adult books. The norm is often white, straight and mentally and physically healthy. 

Everything Leads to You

Everything Leads to You

loving day

Loving Day

Everything Everything

Everything, Everything

The Color Purple

The Color Purple

Eleanor and Park

Eleanor & Park

It's Kind of a Funny Story

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

The Cutting Season

The Cutting Season

Every Day

Every Day

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

What are some of your favorite books that contain diverse characters? What type of character do you wish that you saw more of in books? Let us know in the comments!