Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #255: Crooked Kingdom

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

Crooked Kingdom
By: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 27, 2016

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world. (Goodreads)

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected Everything
By: Morgan Matson
Released: May 3, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks) But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing - if everything's planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that? (Goodreads)

I loved The Unexpected Everything! It was a great summer book about falling in love, friendship, and family. 

The Unexpected Everything is the story of Andie who has her summer all planned out, but then when the scandal involving her politician father happens, all of her plans fall through. Now she's scrambling to figure out how to spend her summer.

Andie was a well developed character. She's mostly grown up on her own while her politician father has been busy and she's had to be mindful of her public image the entire time. Now she'll be spending her summer working a very unexpected job. I liked Andie a lot and she was a realistic teen. She isn't perfect and has her flaws.     

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the relationship between Andie and her father and how it developed. They have this strained relationship and don't really know each other that well. Her father has spent so much of his time away from home and now he'll be around for the whole summer. It's a big adjustment for the both of them.

Another one of my favorite aspects of this book was the friendship that Andie shared with Bri, Toby, and Palmer. Their friendship was so realistic. They share all of these inside jokes and have these fun little adventures together. It comes across clearly how much they love and watch out for each other.

Then there was Clark, who I absolutely adored. He's new in town and has a really interesting backstory. I honestly really loved getting to know him better. I also loved the way the relationship between Andie and Clark developed because it felt realistic.

The plot was filled with drama and some fun lighter moments as well. One of my absolute favorite scenes in this book was definitely the scavenger hunt. It made me laugh out loud and made me feel nostalgic too. While it did take me a few chapters to really get into the story, once I did, it was difficult to put this book down for long. I also loved jumping back into the setting of Stanwich and seeing some of the characters from Since You've Been Gone again as well.

Overall I loved The Unexpected Everything! If you're looking for a contemporary book to bring along with you to the beach this summer, then I highly recommend picking this one up.   

My Rating:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #254: A Million Worlds With You

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

A Million Worlds With You
By: Claudia Gray
Release Date: November 1, 2016
A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny. The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation. Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again. So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead. In the epic conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites . . . and only one can win. (Goodreads)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Reading Slumps

Reading Slumps:

Ever have one of those weeks when every book you pick up just isn't holding your attention? I wish reading slumps weren't so common for me, but unfortunately they happen. Sometimes I fall into one after reading a book that I really loved. Other times I just fall into one for no real reason at all. I have a few go-to steps that always help me get out of my slump though.

Reread An Old Favorite:
This is always my first go-to when I'm in a slump and it usually helps. I'll pick up either a beloved favorite or a favorite that I haven't reread in a long time. Just a few months ago I started rereading the Harry Potter series, which I haven't reread since I was really young, and it helped me get back into my reading routine.   

Read Something Other Than Young Adult:
I love to read Young Adult, but sometimes it helps to take a break. I have a stack of fiction books that I keep on hand for those weeks when I need to take a break. It's also relaxing to just read a book and not write a review on it. 

Take A Reading Break:
When rereading a favorite or reading something outside of Young Adult doesn't work, I take a break from reading all together. I love to read and it's a part of my daily routine, but I also believe that it's good to take a break sometimes. I'll usually take a few days or even a week off from reading to catch up on tv shows or movies instead of reading every night.     

So how do you get out of a reading slump?


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #253: Of Fire and Stars

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

Of Fire and Stars
By: Audrey Coulthurst
Release Date: November 22, 2016

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden. Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed. When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more. But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other. (Goodreads)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

Walk the Edge
By: Katie McGarry
Released: March 29, 2016
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds. Smart. Responsible. That's seventeen-year-old Breanna's role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully's line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas "Razor" Turner into her life. Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don't belong. But when he learns she's being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it's time to step outside the rules. And so they make a pact: he'll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she'll help him seek answers to the mystery that's haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they're both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they're going from here. (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed Walk the Edge! I'm a big fan of Katie McGarry's previous books and this was a great addition to the Thunder Road series.

Walk the Edge is the story of Breanna and Razor. Breanna is stuck in the middle of a large family and known as the responsible one. While Razor is known as trouble for being in the Reign of Terror motorcycle club. When Breanna is blackmailed over a photo, it brings Razor into Breanna's life. Together they learn that each other is more than what other people say about them.

Breanna and Razor were well developed characters. Breanna doesn't feel like she fits in with her family. She is just trying to quietly get through her senior year and get out of her small town. I really liked Breanna a lot and I could really connect with her. She is smart, determined, and tough. She is put down a lot by her siblings, but she keeps going. She's also stubborn though too and tries to handle it all on her own. Then there was Razor, who I think was developed especially well. Razor is trying to find the answers to what really happened to his mom when she died. He's smart and loyal, but he's also uncertain about trusting the people in his life. He's stubborn like Breanna too. The relationship that develops between Breanna and Razor was paced well and the chemistry was clearly there from the beginning. They connect over a lot of similarities and even their differences.

This book was filled with many interesting side characters as well. I loved seeing some familiar characters again from Nowhere But Here and meeting some new ones too. I especially loved seeing Emily and Oz again though.  

At the heart of Walk the Edge, is a story of romance and family. The plot was paced fairly well. I liked that even though were several different story lines going on in this book, they all connected with one another really well. It took me some time to really get into this one, but after a few chapters, I was hooked. There's just something about McGarry's writing that is addictive. I usually end up reading all of her books in one sitting because they are so difficult to put down. I get completely absorbed into the world and the lives of the characters.  

Overall I really enjoyed Walk the Edge. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the Thunder Road series. If you're a contemporary fan, I definitely recommend picking this one up and any of McGarry's other books too.

My Rating:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #252: Rose & Thorn

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

Rose & Thorn 
By: Sarah Prineas
Release Date: September 13, 2016

This beauty isn’t sleeping! Discover the true story of Sleeping Beauty in Sarah Prineas’s bold YA fairy-tale retelling filled with thrilling adventure and romance, perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles and The Girl of Fire & Thorns trilogy. After the spell protecting her is destroyed, Rose seeks safety in the world outside the valley she had called home. She’s been kept hidden all her life to delay the three curses she was born with—curses that will put her into her own fairy tale and a century-long slumber. Accompanied by the handsome and mysterious Watcher, Griff, and his witty and warmhearted partner, Quirk, Rose tries to escape from the ties that bind her to her story. But will the path they take lead them to freedom, or will it bring them straight into the fairy tale they are trying to avoid? Set in the world of Sarah Prineas’s Ash & Bramble fifty years later, Rose & Thorn is a powerful retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale where the characters fight to find their own Happy Ever After. (Goodreads)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Dreamology by Lucy Keating

By: Lucy Keating
Released: April 12, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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? (Goodreads) 

I liked Dreamology and read this one rather quickly. The whole concept of this book is what really caught my eye.

Dreamology is the story of Alice who has been dreaming of this boy named Max for years. In her dreams, Max is her boyfriend and they go on countless adventures together. When Alice moves to a new city and starts at a new school, she discovers that Max exists in real life. However, the real life Max isn't like the dream Max.

Alice was an interesting and well developed character. She lives with her scientist dad and beloved dog, Jerry. Her dad works a lot, so she is fairly independent. I really like how determined Alice is, especially with Max and figuring out why she has been dreaming of him for years. Max was an interesting and well developed character also. You first get to know him through Alice's dreams. But then you finally meet the real Max and realize that there are some differences. This is also what makes the relationship between Alice and Max really interesting too. I absolutely loved the dream relationship between Alice and Max. They were so cute and went on all of these fun adventures together. They have spent years developing this really special bond and it was so clear how much they cared for each other. However, the relationship between Alice and Max in the real world is quite different. I honestly felt like the real world relationship between Alice and Max was lacking development and emotion. The chemistry between them in the real world just wasn't flowing as naturally as it did in the dreams. 

Dreamology also had great side characters. Oliver quickly became one of my favorites after the first time we meet him. I just loved how he was fun and always there for Alice. Then there was Sophie, Alice's best friend from New York City. Sophie was a really great friend and another fun character to get to know. I definitely would have loved even more Oliver and Sophie in this book.

The plot grabbed my attention immediately and moved along at a quick pace. The story was filled with romantic, funny, and weird moments. There were definitely a lot of weird and quirky moments throughout this book that I loved. I especially enjoyed how the chapters alternated between Alice's dreams and real life. The dreams were so imaginative and fun. The ending, however, did become very predictable early on. I felt like it all just wrapped up too neatly and too quickly. 

Overall I liked Dreamology. I didn't love this book as much as I hoped. However, the concept and the characters really stood out.

My Rating:

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

The Mirror King
By: Jodi Meadows
Released: April 5, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies. HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right. HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her. HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule. (Goodreads)

I loved The Mirror King! It was an exciting and suspenseful conclusion to the series. 

The Mirror King picks up right where The Orphan Queen left off. Wilhelmina is being kept in the Indigo Kingdom and her magic is getting out of control. Meanwhile the wraith is getting closer and Wilhelmina is torn over what to do.

Wilhelmina has come so far since The Orphan Queen. She has grown and developed so much over the course of these two books. I love how determined, smart, tough, and caring she is. She's been through so much since a young age and she is certainly put to the test even more with some difficult decisions in this book. This series is also packed with so many great side characters that I loved getting to know.   

The plot was paced well and I found it difficult to put this book down. The Mirror King started with action and it never really slowed down . I personally loved all of the action because it really kept things moving along. There were also so many twists and surprises throughout the story that I never saw coming. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat while I was reading. This book had a great balance of action, romance, suspense, and even some heartbreak. The world that Meadows has created is so fascinating and I truly enjoyed exploring it alongside these characters.

Overall, I loved The Mirror King. Meadows did a wonderful job with wrapping up this series and it will definitely hold a place as one of my top favorites. I highly recommend picking this duology up! 
My Rating: