Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (186)

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 Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan (10/4/16):

Description on Goodreads:
The second book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy.

Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon – the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds – but this time the hammer isn’t just lost. It has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki – and the price he wants is very high.
Why I’m Waiting:
I will always be waiting for the next Rick Riordan book. It’s safe to say, now, that I am a big fan. Also, Norse mythology is so much fun and there’s so much I don’t know about it and I’m so excited to learn. I also love this new set of characters, and I’m anxious to see where things go (after the ending of book 1). I can’t wait for October!
What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Summary on Goodreads:
Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…
This is kind of one of those books where you love it while you’re reading it, but the more you think about it after you finish, the more you notice it’s problems. Don’t get me wrong: I loved this book. It was a fun, action-packed historical fiction novel with fantastic characters. I read it quickly. I absolutely adored the main character. The concept is just so good. However, there’s a few things that bothered me.
First, why is it marketed as fantasy? There are no fantasy elements. And it’s so clearly (at least loosely) based off of England colonizing America. I love this time period. I find the journey, the ideals, the freedoms, and the adventures of this time to be fascinating. But, why the strange names? I get that fantasy novels don’t have to have magic or dragons in them, but when they don’t, I want a reason for why they are fantasy.
This book had a lot going for it. It talked about the journey over sea to the new world. It talked about gentrifying the colonies. It talked about people moving westward (to new colonies). It talked about religious freedoms. There was a lot noted about the differences in the upper class of high society in one country versus the upper class of high society in the new world. And there was a lot said about the differences between the upper class and the lower class. This book dealt with racism, sexism, prejudice, and elitism.
And with all these important topics, the story still had a lot of the romantic “fluff” I have come to love from series like The Selection by Keira Cass. It definitely had a very “The Selection” type feel. AKA: there were a lot of balls, fancy dresses, and competing for husbands. I loved the balance of the fluff with the serious stuff. And I loved all the many aspects to the plot. So much happens.
I loved the main character. She was brave, intelligent, witty, and strong. I love that she knew she was ignorant in a lot of things, but was willing to learn. She learned from her mistakes. She learned from her past prejudices. In the beginning, she is so opinionated about certain things. She’s kind of racist and prejudiced. She learns about other cultures and religions as the book goes on, and becomes a better person the more she is away from the life she used to have.
She became such a wonderful main character by the end. I enjoyed the romance. Mead knows how to write forbidden love rather well. I wish I got a few more steamy scenes than I did, but really, this was excellent. I also loved the side characters. They weren’t quite as developed as I wanted because I know they will each have their own book later in the series. I know I will want to read their books too. I seriously cannot wait to see things from Mira’s eyes.
There was a moment involving an assault that kind of bothered me. It didn’t feel necessary for the story, and it really felt out of place and wrong with the overall “fluffy-ness” of the rest of the book. I mean this is the kind of story where characters continue to get out of impossible situations, hope runs high, and the good guys tend to always win. I was really taken aback by this one scene, and even stopped reading the book for a little while after it.
All in all, I did really enjoy reading this. I loved the story, the concept, the romance, and the characters. I’m not sure why it wasn’t called historical fiction. The time period was one of my favorites. There was an assault scene in it that I really wish wasn’t there. It did read quickly and I had a lot of fun reading it. I give it an 8/10.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Good Week in Books (134)

It’s been both a fantastic book week and an annoying one for me. I got some new books for review (Thank you, Macmillan and Hyperion!)
Two of my most anticipated books of 2016 came out this week (on the same day!), and I had definitely pre-ordered them both some time ago. However, only one was shipped to me. Amazon asked me a few days after the pub date if I wanted to cancel my order for the other one, which had me super confused. Later, I learned on Twitter that Amazon sold out! First off, go Maggie Stiefvater! But sadly, that meant I’d have to wait a while for my precious book. They won’t even give an estimated date for when it will ship out.
I decided to cancel my order and take my chances at my local Barnes and Noble. I picked up their last copy this morning! Again, go Maggie. It’s nuts to sell out of your book on Amazon (and also bookstores). And I guess it answered my question for which anticipated book I’d read first. I understand that this kind of thing happens. I guess I just wish Amazon explained what happened better (aka: at all). I had to get details from Twitter…
Any way, here are the lovelies (and I really have no reason to complain right now):

The Rose and the Dagger
by Renee Ahdieh (this is the one I already started, and it’s amazing!!)
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (so glad there was one copy left!)
Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano
The Secrets we Keep by Trisha Leaver
Love Bomb by Jenny McLachlan

How was your week in books? Anyone else have similar problems?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (185)

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 My Unscripted Life by Lauren Morrill (10/11/16):

Description on Amazon (the Goodreads one was lacking words):
Perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Smith and Huntley Fitzpatrick, you'll love this funny and sweet contemporary romance about a Southern girl ready for a ho-hum summer until she meets the boy of her dreams who happens to be an international pop star.

Sometimes love stories go off script.

Another sultry Georgia summer is about to get a lot hotter. Dee Wilkie is still licking her wounds after getting rejected by the precollege fine arts program of her dreams. But if she’d gone away, she wouldn’t have been around to say yes to an unbelievable opportunity: working on the set of a movie filming in her small Southern town that just happens to be starring Milo Ritter, the famous pop star Dee (along with the rest of the world) has had a crush since eighth grade.

It’s not like Dee will be sharing any screen time with Milo—she’s just a lowly PA. And Milo is so disappointingly rude that Dee is eager to stay far away from him. Except after a few chance meetings, she begins to wonder if just maybe there’s a reason for his offensive attitude, and if there’s more to Milo than his good looks and above-it-all Hollywood pedigree. Can a relationship with a guy like Milo ever work out for a girl like Dee? Never say never. . . .
Why I’m Waiting:
So, I know the premise of this sounds kind of cheesy. I sometimes love cheesy though. And I kind of adore the whole “falling in love with a famous person” story arc. Not to mention that I love this author. She knows how to do the cheesy YA romantic comedy well. I’m really looking forward to this one. I wish it was coming out sooner because it would be the perfect beach read. Oh well
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Summary from Goodreads:
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.
I was looking for a good fantasy that would keep me hooked from page one. And more importantly, I was looking for something that wasn’t exactly like every other YA fantasy that has come before. I found it. This book was a breath of fresh air after staying inside all day. Seriously, this was just what I needed.
What this book excelled in more than most was it’s setting, it’s world. I felt like I was in the desert with these characters. I felt the heat, I feared the supernatural, I was terrified of the desperate people and their guns, I was even more terrified for all the women ever, and I was so invested in this world. This is what I want to feel when reading any new fantasy series. And sadly, it doesn’t happen that often any more. Thank you, book, for bringing back this feeling.
The characters were fun too. How could I not love the main character, who dresses as a boy, escapes to a shooting match (where she can outshoot all the boys), and attempts to own her freedom from a sexist, terrifying world? Her home life is frightening and her prospects had me cringing in disgust. I loved that she was never willing to give up, to settle for anything but what she wanted, no matter how easy it would be.
Then, when the politics of things really open up, the book did begin to feel like a lot of other fantasy and or dystopian stories I’ve read before (aka: the big twists were not so twisty). However, by this point, I was so lost in this unique world  and fun characters, that some of the more familiar plot points didn’t bother me. And then of course, I just had to know what would happen, what the amazing main character would decide to do, and well, I can’t say much more with out spoiling. But, it was good.
All in all, I was really impressed with this one. There were definitely some links that could be made between this setting and one in a real place in the middleeast, and this made things more interesting for me. Of course, then there were also monsters and magic and secret weapons. The setting was wonderful. The characters were fun. The plot was a tad predictable; however, everything else made up for this. I give it a 9/10.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Good Week in Books (133)

Well, I had an awesome book week. I bought some books for myself at a wicked discount at a giant, Scholastic Warehouse sale. Everything was at least 50% the list price. I also received some new pretties for review (Thank you, Macmillan and Hachette!)
The books:

Demigods and Magicians
by Rick Riordan
The End of Fun by Sean McGinty
Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey
No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista
Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko tamaki
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
by Raina Telgemeier
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
Harry Potter Magical Creatures Coloring Book
How was your book week?
Also, here’s a picture from my other Harry Potter coloring book:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (184)

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 Local Girl Swept Away by Ellen Wittlinger (6/15/16):

Description from Goodreads:
Stark, uncompromising, seductive, beautiful - this describes the tourist town of Cape Cod, where a young woman's body remains to be found. Three friends struggle to come to terms with their missing leader and with the secrets each endeavor to hide.

Set in the Cape Cod village of Provincetown, Massachusetts, this is the story about 17-year-old Jackie's struggle to overcome her grief and confusion after her best friend is carried out to sea during a storm. Lorna had been the dynamic leader of a tight-knit group of four friends - Jackie, Lucas and Finn - and her disappearance changes the dynamics between the surviving three. Jackie is still hiding her feelings for Finn, who had been Lorna's boyfriend, and Lucas has withdrawn to the point where Jackie wonders if he is keeping a secret even larger than her own. Meanwhile the future looms, and Jackie fears leaving the only life she has known.
Why I’m Waiting:
This sounds like a good story! I already want to know what happened the girl who died. Also, I love this author. I know the writing in this one will be spot-on. And I love that it takes place in Cape Cod, where I live! I’m not in Provincetown, but I’ve been there many times and I love reading a YA book that takes place somewhere I know and love.
What are you waiting on this week?