Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Wrap Up

September Wrap Up


Books I Reviewed: 

Waiting on Wednesday #225: A Study in Charlotte


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


A Study in Charlotte
By: Brittany Cavallaro
Release Date: March 1, 2016


The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other. Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense. (Goodreads)



 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #224: Dreamology


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


Dreamology
By: Lucy Keating
Release Date: April 12, 2016

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist. But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. It turns out, though, that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max, and getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped. When their dreams start to bleed dangerously into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough? Whimsical, romantic and utterly original, Lucy Keating’s debut novel will win readers’ hearts. (Goodreads)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Series Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Series Review:


The Assassin's Blade (#0.1-0.5): Goodreads - Amazon
Throne of Glass (#1): Goodreads - Amazon
Crown of Midnight (#2): Goodreads - Amazon
Heir of Fire (#3): Goodreads - Amazon
Queen of Shadows (#4): Goodreads - Amazon
By: Sarah J. Maas
Source: Purchased


I've officially joined the Throne of Glass series bandwagon. I read the entire series within two weeks and I have absolutely fallen in love with it. I understand why so many fellow bloggers rave about this series so much. 

I first picked up Throne of Glass back in 2012, but only read a couple of chapters before putting it aside. There wasn't anything in particular wrong with it, I just simply wasn't in the mood for a fantasy book. Then I just figured I would wait until the series was done and read it all in one binge. However, after all of the buzz for Queen of Shadows this past month, I just couldn't wait to read this series any longer. Now I wish I didn't wait that long because this series is so good and just keeps on getting better. 

Celaena is a fantastic protagonist and has become one of my new top favorites. She was trained from a young age to be an assassin. She is tough and fierce, but she also has these vulnerable moments too. I liked how in The Assassin's Blade you have the opportunity to see her life as an assassin before the start of Throne of Glass. It gives a more deeper understanding as to how Celaena became who she is. She has a really secretive and complex past. However, she continues to grow and develop more with each new book.   

This series is also packed with great side characters that I've really loved getting to know better. There is Dorian, Chaol, Nehemia, Rowan, Aedion, Manon, and so many more. I've really enjoyed reading chapters about different individual characters throughout the series. I still can't pick who my favorite is, besides Celaena. 

The plot in each book is so exciting. These books are filled with action, drama, and romance. There are plenty of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. Maas has truly created a fascinating world that I can easily visualize. She first sets up the world really well in Throne of Glass and then continues to expand upon it with each book. It was a challenge to put these books down for long and as soon as I finished one, I couldn't wait to dive into the next one. It was rough to finish Queen of Shadows and not have another book to start reading immediately. 

Maas' writing is gorgeous. I love the sense of humor in these books and I caught myself laughing out loud countless times. I also wrote down so many quotes too. Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, and Queen of Shadows were the books that especially made me tear up quite a bit though.

Overall I really loved this series and still can't stop thinking about it. I will be counting down the days until the next book is released, but in the meantime, I can definitely see myself rereading this whole series again very soon. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend picking these books up as soon as possible. This is one unforgettable series that you won't want to miss out on.     

 
My Rating:





Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #223: This Is Where the World Ends


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


This Is Where the World Ends
By: Amy Zhang
Release Date: March 22, 2016

The heart-wrenching new novel about best friends on a collision course with the real world, from the author of Falling into Place. Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivian moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship, as long as no one finds out about it. But when Janie is date-raped by the most popular guy in school—a guy she’s had a crush on for years—she finds herself ostracized by all the people she thought were her friends. Now only Micah seems to believe she’s telling the truth. But when even Micah expresses doubt about whether or not she was “asking for it,” it leads to disastrous consequences, and Janie Vivian goes missing. Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang’s astonishing second novel masterfully reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance. (Goodreads)

 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales


Tonight the Streets Are Ours
By: Leila Sales
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Source: ARC from BEA
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she's tired of being loyal to people who don't appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.  Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called "Tonight the Streets Are Ours," the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him. During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn't exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn't exactly who she thought she was, either. (Goodreads) 

I enjoyed reading Tonight the Streets Are Ours. Leila Sale's previous book, This Song Will Save Your Life, is one of my favorite books so I was really excited to read this one.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours is the story of Arden who is always putting others before herself. She feels like neither her friends or her family appreciate all that she does for them though. Then she starts to read a blog called Tonight the Streets Are Ours and feels like she connects with the blogger behind it. 

Arden was an interesting character and I felt somewhat of a connection to her early on. She is a character who does a lot of self discovery throughout the book. I liked how the book started with a story from her childhood and showed the reader how even from a young age, she was someone who was always rescuing her best friend. Also right from the beginning, the reader sees that Arden has a lot of complicated relationships with the people in her life. She is always taking the fall for her best friend. Her boyfriend doesn't pay much attention to her. Her dad never spends time at home and her mom left. I liked seeing how all of these different relationships grew and developed over the course of the book. 

The plot was interesting, but didn't really pick up until the last quarter of the book. I found myself getting bored a lot during the middle because there just wasn't much going on. I felt like it was getting repetitive. I still felt like the ending left me wanting more too. What really saved this book for me though was Sale's gorgeous writing. There were so many beautiful quotes throughout this book about love and what it means to love a family member, a friend, or a significant other. The overall theme of love and sacrifice was done well.

Overall I enjoyed Tonight the Streets Are Ours

My Rating:
 



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #222: Away We Go


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


Away We Go
By: Emil Ostrovski
Release Date: February 2, 2016

Westing is not your typical school. For starters, you have to have one very important quality in order to be admitted—you have to be dying. Every student at Westing has been diagnosed with PPV, or the Peter Pan Virus. No one is expected to live to graduation. What do you do when you go to a school where no one has a future? Noah Falls, his girlfriend Alice, and his best friend Marty spend their time drinking, making out, and playing video games on awaywego.com. But when an older boy named Zach (who Noah may or may not be in love with) invites Noah and Marty to join his secret Polo Club, the lives of both boys change as they struggle to find meaning in their shortened existence. With an innovative format that includes interstitial documents, such as flyers, postcards, and handwritten notes, Away We Go is a funny, honest look at first love and tragic heartbreak. For fans of Grasshopper Jungle and Noggin. (Goodreads)

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Dumplin'
By: Julie Murphy
Released: September 15, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back. Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart. (Goodreads)


I really enjoyed Dumplin' a lot. This was one of my most anticipated books of the year because I loved Murphy's previous book Side Effects May Vary. 

Dumplin' is the story of Willowdean who has always been comfortable with her body. After a summer fling with her co-worker doesn't turn into what she wants, her confidence takes a hit though. So to get her confidence back, she enters the beauty pageant in her town.

Willowdean was a realistic and well developed protagonist. Murphy did a great job bringing her voice to life on every single page. Willowdean's personality poured off the pages and her sense of humor was hilarious. I love that she has all of this confidence, but at the same time she still has these moments of self doubt. She has her flaws too and wasn't always a good friend. This all made her someone that I think any teen and adult can relate to. 

There were so many great side characters too. The friendship between El and Willowdean was realistic. They've been best friends since they were kids and do everything together, but they both worry about growing apart as they grow older. Then there was Bo, who was so sweet and a bit of a mystery.

Another great aspect of this book was that there were so many really well done subplots going on. Willowdean also has a really complicated relationship with her mom. She shared a better relationship with her aunt rather than her own mother. However, ever since her aunt died, her relationship with her mom has just gotten worse. Her mom doesn't always listen to her or accept her for who she is. Her mom was a former beauty queen and now helps run the pageant every year. So when Willowdean enters the pageant, her mom questions her motives. 

Dumplin' was paced and developed well. I finished this book over the course of a weekend because it just hooked me in. It was filled with so many of these hilarious and heartbreaking moments. More importantly though this book has a great message about body image and confidence. Murphy really drives home the message of loving yourself and loving every single one of your flaws.    


Overall I really enjoyed Dumplin'. This is an important story and I definitely recommend picking up a copy.   

My Rating:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #221: Revenge and the Wild


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


Revenge and the Wild
By: Michelle Modesto
Release Date: February 2, 2016

The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler. Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways. But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now. This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto. (Goodreads)
 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Retribution of Mara Dyer
By: Michelle Hodkin
Released: November 4, 2015
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told. There is. She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead. She should. She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance. She will now. Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story. Retribution has arrived. (Goodreads) 

 I loved The Retribution of Mara Dyer! It was a great conclusion to what has absolutely become one of my all time favorite series.

Mara Dyer is a standout and memorable character. Hodkin really did a great job with developing her over the course of this series. I felt like in this book especially, I understood why Mara made certain choices. She is trying to not only save the people that she loves, but she's also trying to save herself. Mara is easily one of my all time favorite characters because she is a flawed antihero.    

The Retribution of Mara Dyer takes place shortly after where The Evolution of Mara Dyer left off. It jumps right into the action and it doesn't slow down until the end. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that this plot was action-packed, gory, suspenseful, and creepy.  I loved exploring new settings with Mara, as well as meeting new characters and reconnecting with old faces. Since I read the first book, I've always thought that this series would make a really awesome television show and this book just made me wish for it to happen even more.

Overall I loved The Retribution of Mara Dyer! I highly recommend picking up this series because you won't be able to put it down.     

My Rating: