Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Wrap Up

May Wrap Up

Books I Reviewed:

Discussion Posts:

The Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott

The Way Back to You
By: Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott
Release Date: 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

 Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident. Her best friend Cloudy is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken. Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore. As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they're barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot of out character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again. Or maybe it will be a huge mistake. With hundreds of miles in front of them, a stowaway kitten, and a list of people who are alive because of Ashlyn, Cloudy and Kyle just may find their way to back to her...and to each other. (Goodreads)

I liked The Way Back to You. It took me some time to read, but it was an emotional story about loss and moving forward.

The Way Back to You is the story of Cloudy and Kyle. Cloudy's best friend, Ashlyn, died in an accident months ago and she is keeping her grief all inside. While Ashlyn's boyfriend, Kyle, doesn't want to do anything anymore. When Cloudy steals the information about the recipients of Ashlyn's organs, she enlists Kyle on a road trip to meet them. 

I really liked how the story alternated between both Cloudy and Kyle's point of views. It clearly showed two different ways that a person can experience grief. Cloudy is keeping everything bottled up inside of her, while Kyle is still visibly mourning. Cloudy and Kyle were both fairly well developed characters. I just didn't connect with either of them the way that I wanted to. I certainly felt for them and the loss that they were experiencing, but I didn't feel connected to them. I did like the way the relationship between Cloudy and Kyle slowly developed though. They have a complicated past and haven't really talked about it, but the road trip forces them to.   

The plot dragged on a lot for me. I kept finding myself getting bored with the story and putting it down for several days. Then picking it back up, reading a couple of chapters before putting it back down for a few more days. It's definitely a slow building story which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It does make it come across as much more realistic. I did enjoy the last quarter of the book the most though. I also really enjoyed the whole road trip aspect to this story.

Overall I liked The Way Back to You. It's a slow building realistic story about coping with loss.  

My Rating:

Monday, May 30, 2016

Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson

By: Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
Released: May 17, 2016
Source: Finished copy from the publisher
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other. (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed Gena/Finn a lot. I tend to be picky about books that are told entirely through emails, blog posts, and text messages because I feel like the plot can get lost easily. However in the case of Gena/Finn, it was done really well.

Gena/Finn is the story of Gena and Finn who both love the tv show Up Below. Gena writes fan fiction and is finishing up her senior year of high school while Finn is trying to adjust to life after college. The two form an online friendship that quickly turns into much more. 

Gena and Finn were both interesting and fairly well developed characters. Both of them had their own voices that clearly differed from each other through their texts, emails, and blog posts. I really liked how you got to know each of these characters just as they were getting to know each other too. Gena is so focused on school and in between that time of the end of high school and the start of college. I really liked how open and upfront Gena could be at times. Whereas Finn is living in a new city with her boyfriend and trying to find a job. She isn't sure what the next step in her life will be and she isn't ready to make a huge commitment. Finn was definitely a character who I could connect with a lot.

I loved the way the relationship developed between Gena and Finn. They started a friendship over a common interest and it quickly, but realistically, developed into meaning so much more. It was clear just how much they both cared about each other and what their friendship meant to each other.

The plot was paced well and I read this book in one sitting because it moved along so quickly. I liked how it alternated back and forth between Gena and Finn because it kept the story moving. However, the last quarter of the book took an unexpected turn and I didn't love it. I didn't completely hate it either, but I just felt like it was very unexpected.  

Overall I really enjoyed Gena/Finn a lot and I definitely recommend picking this one up! It's a quick read about friendship, life, and the online community.      

My Rating:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #259: Carve the Mark

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

Carve the Mark
By: Veronica Roth
Release Date: January 17, 2017

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world? Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows. Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another. (Goodreads)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims

Please Don't Tell 
By: Laura Tims
Released: May 24, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it. What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice. (Goodreads)

Please Don't Tell was a fantastic debut! It's been days since I finished reading it and I still can't stop thinking about this book. 

Please Don't Tell is the story of twin sisters Joy and Grace. Joy thinks she killed Adam the night of his party, but she doesn't remember. However, she does know that she wanted to kill him, especially after what he did to Grace. Then one night, Joy finds a note threatening to reveal her as Adam's killer unless she does what the blackmailer says. 

Joy and Grace were both well developed and complex characters. I loved how the chapters alternated between not only both sisters, but also the past and present. Tims did a wonderful job with differentiating Joy and Grace's voices. Joy and Grace are so different from one another, but they also have their similarities too. Joy is the more carefree sister and constantly seems to be clashing with her parents. Whereas Grace is more serious and focused on school. These sisters share a really complicated relationship and I liked that the past chapters helped show how that came to be. There were also several side characters who each had their own interesting mini side story.  

The plot was filled with so many dark twists that made it difficult to put this book down for long. I loved the way the suspense built and the secrets were revealed. Please Don't Tell was definitely filled with a lot of drama and secrets. However, this book also touches on a variety of serious themes such as sexual abuse, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and alcohol abuse. I think that Tims handled each theme very well. I will certainly be looking forward to reading what she writes next.

Overall, Please Don't Tell was a suspenseful, dark, and twisted story that you won't be able to stop thinking about any time soon. I highly recommend picking this one up.     

My Rating:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Upcoming Young Adult Book Adaptations

Book Adaptations Part 2:

In 2013, I compiled a list of Young Adult books that were either currently being adapted into movies or were just optioned. (You can check out that post here: Book Adaptations.) So I decided that it was long overdue to make a new updated list.

Book Adaptations in 2016:

Possible Upcoming Adaptations: 
*Reminder: Just because a book has been optioned doesn't guarantee that it will ever be made into a movie or tv series.* 

So what is your favorite or least favorite book adaptation?
  What adaptation are you looking forward to the most?
What book are you dying to see turned into a movie or tv show?  
(You can check out my wishlist here: Book Adaptation Wishlist
Is there a book that you don't want to see adapted? 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Waiting on Wedneday #258: RoseBlood

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

By: A.G. Howard
Release Date: January 10, 2017

In this modern day spinoff of Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera. At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn -- an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection, a soul-deep romance blossoms. But when Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light, he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known. (Goodreads)


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath and The Dawn
By: Renée Ahdieh
Released: May 12, 2015
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

One Life to One Dawn. In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all. Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets? (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed The Wrath and The Dawn a lot. As soon as I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. 

The Wrath and the Dawn is the story of Shahrzad who volunteers to be the Caliph of Khorasan's next wife. Every bride that Khalid takes is dead by morning. Shahrzad wants to stop Khalid and get her revenge on him for killing his last bride, her best friend. However, Shahrzad learns that Khalid isn't who she thought he was and that the palace is holding secrets.

Shahrzad was an interesting and complex character. She is sacrificing a lot and potentially her own life by marrying Khalid. I admired her strength and persistence. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing her develop further in the next book though. Khalid was also a really complex character that I loved getting to know. He is hiding a lot and carrying a heavy burden on his shoulders. The relationship that forms between Shahrzad and Khalid is paced so well and it felt real. 

The plot was also paced really well and I loved how the story started right away. It made it difficult to put this book down for long. The suspense and twists especially kept me on the edge of my seat.  I couldn't believe it when I turned the page to find that I was already at the end. I absolutely loved the stories that Shahrzad told Khalid and the way that they connected with what was currently happening to these characters. Ahdieh did a wonderful job with it.  I also loved the setting and the palace. I'm especially looking forward to seeing it expanded even more in the next book.  

Overall I really enjoyed The Wrath and The Dawn a lot! If you're looking for a fresh and captivating fantasy, I highly recommend picking this one up because you won't be able to put it down. I can't wait until I can get my hands on The Rose and The Dagger and read what is next for these characters.    

My Rating:

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury
By: Sarah J. Maas
Released: May 3, 2016
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

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)

I completely loved A Court of Mist and Fury! It has easily made its way on to my list of top favorite books. I even wish I could read this book again for the first time. I just can't stop thinking about it. I loved A Court of Thorns and Roses, but A Court of Mist and Fury was somehow even better.

A Court of Mist and Fury picks up shortly after A Court of Thorns and Roses left off. Feyre is trying to learn to live with what she did to save Tamlin and his court from Amarantha. She is learning about her new powers and her place in the Spring Court. However, she still has her deal with Rhysand to face as well.

Feyre is such a complex character and she continues to develop even more in this book. Not only does she now have powers, but she also has a really heavy burden on her shoulders too. She survived Amarantha, but is still haunted by what she did and saw. So much has changed for her since the beginning of A Court of Thorns and Roses. However, I admire Feyre for her strength and heart. She has her flaws too though and it just makes her more of a character that you can connect with.   

I loved seeing the return of some characters from A Court of Thorns and Roses and meeting new ones. I especially loved getting to know Rhysand a lot more and learning his story. I also loved getting to know Morrigan, Cassian, Azriel, and Amren. It didn't take long for them to each win me over.    

The plot was paced very well and it was so difficult to put this book down for long. I experienced so many different emotions while I was reading. I cried when my heart broke for these characters and I even cried when I was happy for them. A Court of Mist and Fury was filled with so many beautiful lines and memorable scenes that I won't be able to forget any time soon. A part of me couldn't stop reading, but another part of me wanted to take my time reading and savor this book. (Guess which part of me won).  

There was also a great balance of drama, romance, and action though. I especially loved all of the twists and turns throughout the book. I was genuinely surprised by the direction that Maas took this story in. However, she developed it so well and I loved how she also expanded this fascinating world. It was so exciting to explore new parts of this world alongside the characters.  

Overall I loved A Court of Mist and Fury! It was a stunning sequel and I already can't wait to reread this book again soon. Maas truly outdone herself with this story. I highly recommend picking up this unforgettable series.      

My Rating: