Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #251: The Inside of Out

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

The Inside of Out
By: Jenn Marie Thorne
Release Date: July 12, 2016

When her best friend Hannah comes out the day before junior year, Daisy is so ready to let her ally flag fly that even a second, way more blindsiding confession can't derail her smiling determination to fight for gay rights. Before you can spell LGBTQIA, Daisy's leading the charge to end their school’s antiquated ban on same-sex dates at dances—starting with homecoming. And if people assume Daisy herself is gay? Meh, so what. It's all for the cause. What Daisy doesn't expect is for "the cause” to blow up—starting with Adam, the cute college journalist whose interview with Daisy for his university paper goes viral, catching fire in the national media. #Holy #cats.  With the story spinning out of control, protesters gathering, Hannah left in the dust of Daisy’s good intentions, and Daisy's mad attraction to Adam feeling like an inconvenient truth, Daisy finds herself caught between her bold plans, her bad decisions, and her big fat mouth. (Goodreads)


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided
By: Emery Lord
Released: April 5, 2016
Source: ARC from Dahlia
Purchase the Book: Amazon

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them. Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him. (Goodreads)

I loved When We Collided and it's now one of my new favorites. It's a beautifully written story with characters that will stick with you long after you've finished reading.

When We Collided is the story of Vivi and Jonah. Vivi is new in town for the summer and she loves to live life to it's fullest. Then there is Jonah who is just trying to hold his family together after the death of his father. When Vivi and Jonah meet, Vivi brings joy back into the lives of Jonah and his siblings. However, Vivi is hiding something and her sense of adventure soon becomes something entirely different.

Vivi and Jonah were realistic and well developed characters. Vivi was a bright character with a big heart and I loved the way she sees the world. She is open to new experiences and she tries to bring that joy to others around her as well. Jonah is quite the opposite in several ways and is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He's trying so hard to keep it all together, but he misses his dad too. The relationship that develops between Vivi and Jonah was realistic and passionate. They both learn a lot from each other.

This book was also filled with so many wonderful side characters that I loved getting to know. I loved Jonah's siblings and the relationships that they shared with each other. This family has suffered a huge loss, but they stick together. Then there was Vivi's mom who Vivi doesn't share a traditional mother/daughter relationship with, but their love for each other was evident on the pages.

I loved the setting in this small coastal town where everyone knew each other. I felt like I was there with these characters at times. The plot was paced well though and I loved how the chapters alternated between Vivi and Jonah. It provided an interesting contrast in perspective. This book made me smile, laugh, and cry. Lord handles the topic of mental illness respectfully and responsibly. She honestly showed the highs and lows of depression. I felt like she truly opened up a conversation about mental illness with this book and it gives the reader a lot to think about.

Overall, I loved When We Collided. It was a beautiful story about falling in love, moving forward, accepting yourself, and living with the good and bad days. I highly recommend picking this one up because it is the one book you won't want to miss this year.  
My Rating:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang

This is Where the World Ends
By: Amy Zhang
Released: March 22, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien 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 then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt. (Goodreads)

I loved Amy Zhang's previous book, Falling into Place, so I was really looking forward to reading this new book. While I did like This is Where the World Ends, I didn't love it as much as I wanted to.

This is Where the World Ends is the story of Janie and Micah. Janie and Micah have been friends ever since Janie moved next door when they were younger. However, they don't let anyone else know about their friendship. It isn't until Janie goes missing, that Micah starts to question everything he knew about his friend. 

Janie and Micah were interesting characters. Micah doesn't remember much from the night that Janie disappeared and he is now trying to piece together his memories. As a character, Micah came across as sort of flat to me. I wanted to know something about him that didn't involve his friendship with Janie. However, Janie was a much more complex character and I really liked reading her journal entries. Honestly, I struggled to connect with either of these characters though and because of that, I never became as invested in this story as I was hoping

I wanted to like this plot a lot more, but it just fell short for me. The plot is told in chapters divided by before and after Janie's disappearance. The events surrounding Janie's disappearance slowly unravel and at times it became confusing. I also found it to be increasingly repetitive and I felt like there were times when the story was just going in circles. Zhang's writing is stunning though and there were so many lines that I found myself writing down.

Overall I liked This is Where the World Ends. If you're a contemporary fan, then I recommend checking this one out. I also highly recommend picking up Falling into Place, if you haven't read it already.

My Rating:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #250: Love & Gelato

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

Love & Gelato 
By: Jenna Evans Welch
Release Date: April 12, 2016

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure. Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home. But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and ever herself. People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more. (Goodreads)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Book Adaptation Wishlist

Book Adaptation Wishlist:

I have a love/hate relationship with book adaptations. There have been some that were done really well and then some that I haven't liked all that much. Some of my favorite adaptations have been The 100, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Hunger Games, The Fault In Our Stars, Paper Towns, and The Duff. Some of those adaptations were loyal to the books. While others made a lot of changes from the book that I actually ended up loving. Even though I feel anxious every time I hear that a book I love is becoming a movie or tv show, there are still some books that I would love to see on the screen one day. 

Ever since I read the first book in this series, I've always thought this would make for a really good television show. I would love to watch this suspenseful story unfold every week.

The characters are so interesting and I think this series would make for a really intense show or movie. (New Line Cinema currently has the film rights.)

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig:
I think this book would make a great movie. I would love to see the ship and locations that Nix travels to on the big screen.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord:
I would love to see Reagan and Lilah's friendship on a television show or in a movie.

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman:
I think Kate's journey for revenge would make for a really exciting movie.

What book or series would you love to see adapted into either a television show or a movie? What are some of your favorite adaptations?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight
By: Cassandra Clare
Released: March 8, 2016
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses. Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions… Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it? (Goodreads)

I loved Lady Midnight! I have waited years for this book and it was absolutely worth the wait. I loved being back in the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders and I already can't wait to reread this book again.

Lady Midnight takes place five years after City of Heavenly Fire and is set at the Los Angeles Institute. Emma Carstairs and her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, are investigating suspicious murders around Los Angeles that may be connected to the murder of Emma's parents. 

Emma was a well developed and complex protagonist and I loved getting to know her even better. She has never given up on finding out the truth about what really happened to her parents. I loved how fierce, loyal, and determined Emma was and it didn't take long for me to be rooting for her. She has her flaws too, but those flaws just made her more realistic. 

Then there was Julian who was another well developed and complex character. Julian has so much resting on his shoulders and he also lives with the effects from the Dark War. I really loved and admired how devoted he was to his family though. It was so clear how much he loved his brothers and sisters. I also loved the bond that Julian and Emma shared too. They've grown up with each other and have always looked out for one another. Now that they are parabatai, that bond is even stronger.

This book was filled with so many fantastic new characters and many familiar characters as well. I absolutely loved seeing some of my favorite characters again and the connections that they shared with Emma and Julian. I also loved getting to know Julian's siblings too though. Mark, Dru, Ty, Livvy, and Tavvy were all wonderful characters and I loved the close bond that the Blackthorne family shared. 

The plot was paced well and as soon as I started reading this book, it was difficult to put it down. I absolutely loved the setting in Los Angeles and running around the city with these characters. The plot was well developed and had a great balance of action, drama, humor, romance, and suspense. One of my favorite things about The Mortal Instruments series was the humor and I loved reading that in this book. There were several moments that had me laughing out loud. Clare also built up the suspense well and I loved trying to solve who was behind the murders alongside Emma and Julian.           

Overall I loved Lady Midnight a lot! It may have even just become my favorite Cassandra Clare book yet. This is one book you won't want to miss out on! I will definitely be counting down the days until the next book is released. 

My Rating:

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #249: My Unscripted Life

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

My Unscripted Life 
By: Lauren Morrill
Release Date: October 11, 2016

Working as a summer intern on the set of a movie being filmed in her small Georgia town, seventeen-year-old Dee meets famous pop star turned actor Milo Ritter, who is offending everyone with his rudeness. (Goodreads)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Giveaway: Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige


         Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die #3)
By: Danielle Paige
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Amazon - B&N
In this dark, action-packed third book in the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Amy Gumm—the new girl from Kansas—must do everything in her power to save Kansas, kill Dorothy, and make Oz a free land once more. Amy Gumm’s mission to take down Dorothy Gale is not going according to plan. Dorothy has found a way to bridge the worlds of Oz and Kansas, and if the power-hungry dictator of Oz has her way, Kansas will be destroyed forever. Now, Amy has to team up with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to save her home, restore the balance between the magic and nonmagic worlds, maybe get the guy—and kill that not-so-sweet Kansas farm girl once and for all. In the third installment of the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Danielle Paige’s twisted versions of beloved Oz characters are back, including the biggest, baddest, most famous of all: the Wicked Witch of the West. Welcome to the other side of the rainbow. Here there’s danger around every corner, and magic shoes won’t be able to save you. (Goodreads)

One winner will be randomly selected to win a hardcover of Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige. Open to U.S. residents only. 

*Book provided by Harper Teen*


Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks

The Lifeboat Clique
By: Kathy Parks
Released: March 1, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Some people might say that Denver had a death wish. Why else would she have dared to sneak into a Malibu beach party where she’d be surrounded by enemies, namely including her ex-BFF Abigail? Oh yeah. Croix. Denver never thought in a million years he’d ask her out, but who was she to question this miracle of fate? Well, that wasn’t the only surprise fate had in store. During the party a tsunami hit the coast of California, wiping out everything in its path. Denver and a handful of others escaped death by holding onto the roof of the house and were swept out to sea. Of course, one of her fellow castaways was none other than Abigail, who could barely stand the sight of her. Now that she’s floating in the ocean, stuck on a small boat with the most popular kids in school and waiting to be rescued, Denver wonders what might kill her first-dehydration, sunstroke, or the girl she used to think of as a sister? (Goodreads)

I liked The Lifeboat Clique. The writing was hilarious and I finished this book in one sitting.

The Lifeboat Clique is the story of Denver who is crashing a party when a tsunami hits. She is swept out to sea and stuck on a small boat with some of the most popular kids at school, including her ex-best friend Abigail.

Denver was a well developed protagonist. She's self-sufficient and knows how to survive. She's also really snarky and she had me laughing out loud a lot. She always had a quick come back to the comments from the mean girls. Denver was just an all around great character that I was rooting for right from the beginning. I never really cared all that much about any of the side characters though. Abigail was the only other character that you really got to know, so the other side characters all mostly blurred together for me.  

The pacing moved fast and I liked how it alternated between the present and past. The chapters set in the past provided the background to Denver and Abigail's friendship. Then there was the suspense surrounding the group's survival stranded out at sea and that definitely made it difficult to put this book down. The plot had a good balance of humor and drama too. I loved the humor a lot and this book certainly had me laughing out loud a lot. However, it also does a really great job dealing with bullying in a honest way.

Overall I liked The Lifeboat Clique. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and funny read.

My Rating:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #248: A Court of Mist and Fury

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

A Court of Mist and Fury
By: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 3, 2016

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people. Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two. (Goodreads)


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Burning Glass
By: Kathryn Purdie
Released: March 1, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer. Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself. As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray. (Goodreads)

I liked Burning Glass. The premise for this one caught my eye months ago and I was really curious about this book. However, it turned out to be not what I was expecting.

Burning Glass is the story of Sonya who is an Auraseer, this means that she can feel what other people are feeling. Sonya has kept her gift hidden from the empire for years, but now she is being brought to the palace to serve the emperor. She must protect him from anyone who means him any harm.

Sonya was an interesting and flawed character. However, at times it was difficult to get a sense of who she was and what her own actual feelings were regarding certain characters and situations. When she feels what other people around her are feeling, she often acted on the feelings of that person because she was absorbing it. It definitely became confusing at times and I questioned every relationship that Sonya formed. I wanted more of who Sonya was when she wasn't being influenced by the feelings of others. The whole concept of the Auraseer was really interesting, but I was left with so many questions about it. 

There were also a lot of side characters and I honestly struggled with telling them apart at times. I kept needing to look back to remember who was who. I did like prince Anton, the most though, but I wanted more of him.  

The plot dragged on a lot, especially in the beginning because there was so much to set up. It took me a while to get invested in this book and I almost considered not finishing it a few times. The pacing would pick up for a few chapters, but then slow right back down. I definitely enjoyed the last quarter of the book the most though and I did not see many of the twists coming. I also really enjoyed the world that Purdie created. It was interesting and well developed.  

Overall, I liked Burning Glass and I will still probably pick up the next book because I am interested enough to see what happens next to these characters.   
My Rating:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #247: This Is My Brain On Boys

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

This Is My Brain On Boys
By: Sarah Strohmeyer
Release Date: May 10, 2016  

Jane Austen’s Emma meets The Rosie Project in this quirky, irresistible, romantic comedy from Sarah Strohmeyer, the author of Smart Girls Get What They Want. Addie Emerson doesn’t believe in love. Not for herself anyway. With one year left of high school, she’s more interested in snagging a full scholarship to Harvard than a full-time boyfriend. That doesn’t mean she’s oblivious to the ways of the heart. Or, rather, the head. Because after months of research, Addie has discovered how to make anyone fall in love. All you need is the secret formula. But will her discovery be enough to win the coveted Athenian Award and all its perks? (See above, full scholarship to Harvard.) Or will she be undone by Dexter, her backstabbing lab partner, who is determined to deep-six her experiments at their exclusive private school? Those are the least of her problems now that she’s survived a death-defying flight with a mysterious, dark-haired boy, who has delicious chocolate-brown eyes and a few secrets of his own. With an experiment to mastermind, an infatuated exchange student on her hands, and at least one great white shark (more on that later), can Addie’s prefrontal cortex outwit her heart? Or will she have to give in to her amygdala and find out, once and for all, if this thing called love is more than just her brain on drugs?  (Goodreads)