Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #280: Blacksouls

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Blacksouls (Blackhearts #2)
By: Nicole Castroman
Release Date: April 11, 2017

Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships. Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands. Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined. (Goodreads)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the Species 
By: Mindy McGinnis
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence. While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways. But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her. So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for. Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever. (Goodreads)

The Female of the Species was a dark and relevant story. Not only did it make me cry, but this story also made me think a lot. The first time I heard about this book, I didn't think it was going to be for me. However, once I started to read more reviews, I knew I had to read this book and I'm so happy that I did. This is definitely one of those books that is going to stick with me for a long time. 

The Female of the Species is the story of Alex, Jack, and Peekay. Alex is familiar with violence and doesn't feel guilty about it. Her older sister was murdered years ago and her killer was never punished. She now carefully hides away in the background every day. Next there is Jack, the popular guy at school who can't seem to stop thinking about Alex. Lastly there is Peekay, the preacher's daughter, who doesn't want to be the good girl she is expected to be. 

Alex was a complex and well developed character. She believes that she is too dangerous to be around people so she's taught herself to blend into the background. It was interesting to get to know Alex piece by piece. She isn't all that great with humans, but she is great with the animals at the shelter where she works.

Jack was a well developed character too, but wasn't always very likable. He worries a lot about getting stuck in a small town for the rest of his life so he works hard to make sure he can get out. I loved the relationship that developed between Jack and Alex though. I thought that it was paced really well. 

Peekay was a well developed character as well and I enjoyed getting to know her. She is so jealous of her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend that she can't seem to think of much else. I loved the friendship that developed between Alex and Peekay though. They didn't seem like they would share much in common at the start, but I loved the close bond that formed between them. I also really loved the whole emphasis on female friendship that McGinnis made throughout this book.

The plot was paced well and held my attention. It was difficult to put this book down for any amount of time because I just couldn't stop thinking about it. It's been days since I finished this book and I still can't stop thinking about it. The plot is dark and handles a variety of topics really well. McGinnis makes a real and important statement about rape culture and gender throughout this book. Each of the three characters observes and reacts to what is occurring around them in different ways. McGinnis truly does a great job at showing you three entirely different perspectives. 

Overall I loved The Female of the Species. It's one of the most brutally honest and relevant books that I've read all year. I highly recommend picking this one up!   

My Rating:

Monday, October 17, 2016

What Light by Jay Asher

What Light
By: Jay Asher
Released: October 18, 2016
Source: E-Galley from First To Read
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other. By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love. What Light is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable. (Goodreads)  

What Light was one of my most anticipated books of this year and I loved it! I'm already looking forward to rereading it again very soon. I'm not much of a fan of Christmas stories, but I still had to read this one because Jay Asher is one of my favorite writers and I'm so happy that I did. What Light is so much more than just a Christmas story, but it did still manage to put even me in a holiday mood.

What Light is the story of Sierra who lives on a Christmas tree farm in Oregon. Every year, during Christmas time, she moves with her parents to California to work on a Christmas tree lot and sell the trees they grow back home. She's lived her whole life splitting her time between both Oregon and California. However this year, her time in California is turning out to be much different

Sierra was a well developed character that I truly enjoyed getting to know. I admired how loyal and protective she was of the people she loved. She has her flaws too though, but those just made her that much more realistic. I could certainly understand why she would be torn about splitting her year between two places. I loved the setting in both Oregon and California and I found myself feeling just as torn about both places. Sierra leaves behind her two best friends in Oregon and misses out on spending the holidays at home. However, she has a best friend in California too and only gets to see her for a short time each year. I loved the relationship she shared with all of her friends though because it was clear how much she cared for them and wanted more time. I also loved the relationship that Sierra shared with her parents too and how close they were as a family.

Caleb was a really interesting and well developed character. He has a past that most of the town won't forget. He's trying to move on and find forgiveness though. I loved the relationship that develops between Sierra and Caleb. It was realistic and paced really well. I liked that they took their time getting to know each other

The plot was paced well and I didn't want to stop reading once I started. I especially loved that Asher took his time letting you get to know the characters because it just made me feel that much more invested in them. What Light definitely sent me through a variety of emotions though. I smiled, laughed, and cried a lot while reading. This book also left me with a serious craving for a cup of hot chocolate with a candy cane. 

Overall, I loved What Light! It was an emotional story about falling in love, second chances, and growing up. If you're a fan of contemporary books or holiday stories, I definitely recommend picking this one up.      

My Rating:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #279: Alex, Approximately

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Alex, Approximately
By: Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 4, 2017

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet. Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush. Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter. And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately. (Goodreads)