Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (213)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to share which books we are most anticipating.
This week I am waiting on Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine (7/11/2017):

Description on Goodreads:
The unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone and Paper and Fire unite to save the Great Library of Alexandria from itself in this electrifying adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealousy guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny....

Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.

Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library....
Why I’m Waiting:
I absolutely love this series. I wish it had more hype than it did. I cannot sing its praises enough. The first book was my favorite book of 2015. The second book will most definitely make my Best Books of 2016 list. And ahhhhh, July seems so far away. The second book left off in such a second book cliffhanger too! I need to know what the characters will all do now! I need to know.
What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, December 5, 2016

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

Summary from Goodreads:
England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.
I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump. November has been a crazy/kind of awful/kind of not so awful month for me. And when I ran off to CA for a family emergency, some part of my brain remembered I liked traveling with paperbacks. So, I took this one with me hoping for a bit of distraction. Unfortunately, it did not hold me enough for a distraction, at least in the beginning. I ended up watching kids movies for the whole plane ride.
The beginning kind of read like all other books in this genre. It’s getting harder and harder to believe that this same main character exists so many times in historical fiction. The Elizabeth Bennett, ahead of her time, too smart for society character is becoming so cliché for me. When she turns up, I need her to have some distinguishing characteristic that separates her from all the others, and unfortunately, this one didn’t really have that. That being said, the book did pick up, a lot, long past the time I needed it to though.
It’s not the book’s fault that I was not in a good reading mood. I ended up liking the book overall, despite its slow/cliché beginning. When it became more supernatural, I quickly came to enjoy it more. It needed that little something different to make it…well a little something different.
I found the mystery a lot of fun, though never too surprising. I liked the witty dialog between Evelyn and her two suitors. I loved the balls, the theater, the disguises, the secret powers, and the idea for what the bad guy was after. I loved that the main character loved her sister and her freedom more than she cared for anything else.
Nothing was that new here though. And I hate making comparisons, but I couldn’t help but comparing this book to Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare and A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink, and thinking the other books got it a lot better. Weirdly, they both have “angel” in the title, and angels are only kind of involved in one of them. Regardless, I was hoping for a little more uniqueness. Even the bad guy felt like someone I had met before.
All in all, this was a fun, easy read. There was nothing that really stood out too much for me. I enjoyed reading it, but I can easily see forgetting about it soon. The characters were all very familiar. Granted, I have not been in the best mood for reading lately. I give it a 7/10.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (212)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to share which books we are most anticipating.
This week I am waiting on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale (2/7/2017):

Description on Goodreads:
A 320-page Middle Grade Novel telling an original "tail" of Marvel's cute, quirky, and downright furry Super Heroine--Squirrel Girl!
Why I’m Waiting:
I love the graphic novels. I love them so much, I dressed as Squirrel Girl for Halloween. Seriously, the comics are hilarious and fun and I just can’t get enough of them. I also love Shannon Hale. I can’t wait to see how she writes this story.
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
So, it’s decided: Nicola Yoon is amazing. I loved this book. I’ve had a remarkably difficult couple of weeks. And it’s been hard getting into a book. Normally, books are my ultimate escape, but lately, I don’t have the attention span for escape. And this is the one book in the last couple of weeks that really grabbed me.
I loved the diverse cast. I’ve never read about a main character who’s about to be deported. And I loved everything about Natasha’s story. I loved her family’s struggles, her father’s dreams, and her tenacity for problem solving. I also loved Daniel. I love boy poets. And he was the ultimate dreamer. I loved that Natasha was the scientist/realist and Daniel was the creative dreamer.
I love that so much happened for them in such a short period of time. It’s the ultimate love story. Yet, it was also believable. There was no sugar coating put on to Natasha’s tragedy or Daniel’s awful brother. And because of that I loved them so much more. I also loved the random side characters, particularly the security guard who almost committed suicide.
The book zooms in and out. It zooms in on people who might not ordinarily have been considered characters and it zooms out on major concepts like love at first sight. The book is both simple and complicated. It’s about the good in people and it’s about how one little thing can affect a whole series of other bigger things. It read kind of like an old, excellent Woody Allen movie.
This is not a book for people who don’t like character-driven stories. It’s all about character. There’s also a nice NYC backdrop to it all. There’s subway rides, record shops, lawyer offices, college interviews, family dramas, Korean food, and so much more. This is urban fiction at its finest, and I really felt like I was in NYC while I was reading it.
All in all, this is just what I needed. I hope the world loves this book as much as I did. I give it a 10/10.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Good Week in Books (148)

I had a nice little book week this week. I haven’t been in the right mindset to read too much. So many things were going on. I did read one book. And I received two new ones for review (Thank you Macmillan and Penguin).
The pretties:

The Valiant
by Lesley Livingston (ARC)
The Nerdy and the Dirty
by B.T. Gottfred
How was your week in books?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Summary from Goodreads:
Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
I really enjoyed this one. Emma Mills is really making a name for herself. I loved First and Then, and when I saw that the author had a new book coming that would involve art, I got really excited.
I really connected with Sloane. Basically, I love my friends (like she grows to do), but also, like her, I’m super independent and love being alone. I really connected to a teen character who liked being alone and didn’t feel like she had to have friends because it was expected. I get her not wanting to be disappointed also.
That being said, I love the group of friends she falls into. Vera is fascinating. I love that she’s in a successful long distance relationship with her girlfriend. I love how positive she is. I also love her addiction to social media and found it very believable and endearing. I also found the serious Gabe to be just as interesting. I had some really shippy moments in this book.
I also enjoyed the other side characters like Remy who went on the painting adventure with Sloane. I liked that Sloane worked so hard to help Remy with what he was going through too. And I loved that not everyone’s stories were wrapped up with a pretty pink bow. There’s sadness, growing up, fighting, and figuring things out here, as there should be in any good YA novel.
I also super loved the family component. Sloane’s dad is the best. For starters, he’s a famous writer that kind of sounds like Nicholas Sparks. Also, I loved watching him become obsessed with fan fiction, and passing it along to Sloane. I loved their relationship, which often times felt more like good friends, than parent/daughter. It’s not often, that the father/daughter relationship is stressed so much, and I loved it.
I liked her relationship with her little sister too. It was equal parts sibling rivalry/jealousy and pure love. I loved when Sloane read out loud to her. And when she picked the girl up from a friends group and compared herself to her, I was like yeah, that’s what being a sister feels like.
This book just has so much going for it: good family drama, dramatic fights, excellent party scenes, fan fiction, excellent friendships, romance, and well, just everything you could possibly want in a good YA contemporary. I give it a 10/10.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday (211)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to share which books we are most anticipating.
This week I am waiting on Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa De La Cruz (4/11/2017):

Description on Goodreads:
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Witches of East End and The Descendants comes the love story of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler.

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.
Why I’m Waiting:
YA Hamilton? Yes, please! Also, I haven’t read this author in a very long time, but I loved her first YA vampire series, and I know she knows how to write romance with the best of them. April cannot come fast enough.
What are you waiting on this week?