Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Wrap Up

August Wrap Up:

 Books I Reviewed:

Waiting on Wednesday #273: The Ship Beyond Time

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

The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl From Everywhere #2)
By: Heidi Heilig
Release Date: March 28, 2017

Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father? Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices. Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. But at the center of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds.(Goodreads)


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #272: Gem & Dixie

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

Gem & Dixie
By: Sara Zarr
Release Date: April 4, 2017

Gem & Dixie is the new novel from renowned young adult author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr—a deep, nuanced, and gorgeously written story about the complex relationship between two sisters from a broken home. Gem has never known what it is to have security. She’s never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table; and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than his frequent absence. Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they’ve always had each other. When their dad returns for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie, on their own in Seattle and beyond. But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she's tried so hard to keep. (Goodreads)


Monday, August 22, 2016

Scavenger of Souls by Joshua David Bellin

Scavenger of Souls 
By: Joshua David Bellin
Released: August 23, 2016
Source: E-Galley
Purchase the Book: Amazon - B&N
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Querry Genn must face the truth about the past and fight to save humanity and the future in this stunning sequel to Survival Colony 9, which New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry called “a terrific novel. Querry and the members of Survival Colony 9 have defeated a whole nest of the creatures called Skaldi, who can impersonate humans even as they destroy them. But now the colony is dangerously low in numbers and supplies. Querry’s mother is in command, and is definitely taking them somewhere—but where? Some secret from her past seems to be driving her relentlessly forward. When they do finally reach their destination, Querry is amazed to discover a whole compound of humans—organized, with plenty of food and equipment. But the colonists are not welcomed. Everything about them is questioned, especially by Mercy, the granddaughter of the compound’s leader. Mercy is as tough a fighter as Querry has ever seen—and a girl as impetuous as Querry is careful. But the more Querry learns about Mercy and the others, the more he realizes that nothing around him is as it seems. There are gruesome secrets haunting this place and its people. And it’s up to Querry to unearth the past and try to save the future in this gripping conclusion to the Survival Colony novels. (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed Scavenger of Souls. I haven't read the first book, Survival Colony 9, yet, but I was assured before reading Scavenger of Souls that it could read as a standalone. I can definitely now confirm that you can read this as a standalone. The first chapter did a really great job with recapping what I believe happened in Survival Colony 9 and introducing the reader to this world and characters. The only thing that I felt like I may have missed with reading this duology out of order is the connection that the characters made with each other in the first book. However, I will certainly be picking up Survival Colony 9 eventually and I'm excited to get into more of the details of what happened to Querry before everything in Scavenger of Souls. I personally loved the idea of being able to read these books out of order though. 

Scavenger of Souls is the story of Querry and the other members of Survival Colony 9 who are on the move under the command of Querry's mother. Querry's mother is keeping secrets though and Querry wants answers. However once they finally do make it to a compound, they aren't welcomed.  

Querry was an interesting and realistic protagonist. He's fifteen years old, but doesn't remember the past fourteen years of his life. He has so many questions about his past, but his mother isn't immediately forthcoming with those answers. He's constantly being thrown around into these tough scenarios and is forced to make difficult decisions. I really liked how his motivation behind those decisions was clear though. There were also several interesting side characters too, but my favorite was definitely Mercy. She was such an awesome, intelligent, and tough character. I loved getting to know her as the story progressed.

The plot was paced fairly well and there was a lot of action. There were a few moments where I felt like the story was dragging along a bit though and it felt repetitive. However, I really liked all of the twists and there were definitely a couple that took me by surprise. One of my favorite aspects of this book was the setting though. This world that Bellin created was so fascinating and scary. I really enjoyed learning about the Skaldi.

Overall, I really enjoyed Scavenger of Souls. If you're a fan of post-apocalyptic stories, then I definitely recommend picking this one up.    

My Rating:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #271: A Season of Daring Greatly

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

A Season of Daring Greatly
By: Ellen Emerson White
Release Date: February 14, 2017

Jill Cafferty just made history as the first woman signed by an MLB team, joining the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate only days after high school graduation. Despite the reassurances of coaches and managers alike, not everyone is happy to have her there. A few of her teammates are giving her trouble, making crude jokes and claiming there’s no way she can play at this level. The media presence following Jill at each of her games adds to her own misgivings about choosing pro baseball over a normal college experience. And to top it all off, Jill is struggling with the responsibilities of being a national hero and a role model for young women everywhere. How can she be a role model when she’s not even sure she made the right choice for herself? Featuring a strong female character trying to mark out a place for herself in a male-dominated world, this literary and accessible book is a great choice for fans of John Corey Whaley and Catherine Gilbert Murdock. (Goodreads)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #270: The Last of August

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

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)
By: Brittany Cavallaro
Release Date: February 14, 2017

In this second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn't the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family's Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends - but still, the darkness in Charlotte's past is a wall between them. A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte's beloved Uncle Leander goes missing from the estate - after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit. Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty - formerly Charlotte's obsession, currently believed by most to be dead - whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too. What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other. (Goodreads)


Monday, August 8, 2016

Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger

Change Places With Me
By: Lois Metzger
Released: June 14, 2016
Source: Author
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was a little different. Her clothes and hair don’t suit her anymore. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There’s no more sadness in her life; she’s bursting with happiness. But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because until very recently, she was an entirely different person—a person who’s still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin. (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed Change Places With Me! I will be as vague as possible in this review because this is definitely one of those books where the less you know, the better. 

Change Places With Me is the story of Rose who wakes up one day and is changed. She is no longer sad, but instead, she can barely contain her happiness. She suddenly wants to change her clothes and hair. Now she loves dogs and even wants to throw a party. However, this is all so different from the girl she was just yesterday.

Rose was a really interesting and well developed character. She is struggling with not feeling like herself, but at the same time, she's so happy now. There were also several interesting side characters that I enjoyed getting to know.  

The plot was paced well and grabbed my attention right away. I felt like there was a lot going on in this book, but at the same time, it didn't feel overwhelming. As I mentioned earlier, the less you know about the plot, the more you will enjoy this book. It started to become slightly predictable during the middle, but I still really enjoyed the suspense surrounding what happened to Rose. I especially liked how this book was divided up into three parts because it helped bring the whole story together. I have read one other book by Metzger and she has a very distinctive writing style which I loved reading once again

Another great aspect to this story was the setting. Change Places With Me is set several years into the future and I really loved all of the new changes to this world. Some things still seemed the same, but then there was all this new technology that was so much fun to read about.

Overall, I really enjoyed Change Places With Me. If you're looking for a quick and suspenseful book with some science fiction, then I definitely recommend picking this one up.    

My Rating:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You
By: Kasie West
Released: July 26, 2016
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

Signed, sealed, delivered… While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue! Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out… (Goodreads)

I loved P.S. I Like You! This book was packed with complex characters and a captivating plot. I'm a huge fan of Kasie West's contemporary books and this was another wonderful story that I can certainly see myself rereading again very soon. 

P.S. I Like You is the story of Lily who begins exchanging anonymous letters with someone in her school, after this person adds to the song lyrics she wrote on her desk. Lily and her secret pen pal bond over their similiar taste in music and begin to share more personal details about their lives.

Lily was a well developed, complex, and at times awkward protagonist. She also has her flaws and those only made me connect with her even more though. Lily is a realistic character who grows a lot as the story progresses. I loved how passionate she was about music and writing lyrics, but still struggled to find her confidence with sharing those lyrics with others. I also loved her relationship with her family. Lily has three siblings and her house is chaotic almost all of the time. The family has their disagreements from time to time, but their love for one another came across so strongly on the pages. I also loved Lily's relationship with her best friend, Isabel because it was realistic as well.

The plot was paced well and I had the hardest time putting this book down. I ended up reading it all in one sitting and staying up past two in the morning to finish it. West does a wonderful job with hooking the reader in and holding their attention. The plot had a great balance of humor, romance, drama, and a bit of a mystery. The mystery aspect did become predictable quickly, however, I still enjoyed it. I loved the light and funny moments, but I also loved the more serious moments as well. The humor and seriousness balanced each other out well. This book certainly had me laughing out loud and smiling at times though. I also loved the messages in this story about judgement and finding your confidence. 

Overall, I loved P.S. I Like You! It was a story filled with adorable, fun, and serious moments. If you're a fan of contemporary books, I highly recommend picking this one up. I definitely can't wait to read what West writes next!  

My Rating:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #269: Hunted

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

By: Meagan Spooner
Release Date: March 14, 2017

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.  So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast? (Goodreads)