Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan and read by Joshua Swanson

Summary from Goodreads:
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem—when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes, but his bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

This breathtaking second installment in the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives some fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophecy of Seven.
I’m so happy that I decided to re-read all the Percy Jackson books this year and to not give up on the Heroes of Olympus series. This book was so good. I loved it. And I both enjoyed it and read it so much faster than I did The Lost Hero. I had a feeling I would. Everyone kept telling me I needed to keep reading these books, and I finally listened.
I was so happy to have Percy back in the mix! Even though, he couldn’t remember much of anything for the first ¾ of the book, I knew he would eventually, because Jason did. I loved getting to see the Roman camp! One of the reasons, I did not enjoy the first book in this series as much as I wanted to was because of a lot of repepetition about the gods. This one had a little repetition, but not a lot. It was mostly new because the Roman camp and the Roman versions of everything was new for me.
I loved making the comparisons between the Greek and Roman camps. And I loved watching Percy be the hero everywhere he goes. Even with no memories, he’s still the same much loved, brave character from all the other books. I also loved the new characters here. I think Hazel is so fascinating. Everything from her curse to her past life to her bravery was just so cool. And I also loved Frank. I loved that he had to discover what his special family powers were, and that it was more than his Roman background making him stand out.
The action and adventure in this book was top-notch. There were new mythological creatures to meet (like ghosts and the fastest horse in the world). And the appearances of old favorite creatures (like Mrs. O’Leary) made me so happy too. There’s also the Amazons, who run Amazon…So so cool.
I like that different, sometimes minor gods are playing a larger role in this series. Also, it’s interesting seeing Hera/Juno play such a critical role. The prophecy of seven is proving to be as complicated and scary a prophecy as the one in the first series. I’m so curious to see how things end up. I can’t wait to see the Greeks and Romans fighting together to save the day.
I’m also curious to see if the author will write about different mythology in the future. I know he has a Norse mythology series starting this fall. But, there are hints of Chinese mythology and Native American mythology in this series too. There’s so much for him to work with!
All in all, I loved the new story elements. I loved the combining of Greek and Roman. I loved the new set of characters. And I just plain loved this book. I’m not sure how long I can wait before starting book 3. I’ll probably start it tonight. This one gets a 10/10. It might be my favorite Riordan book yet.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (150)

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 Unspoken by C.C. Hunter (10/28/15):
Description on Goodreads:
Despite her superhuman strength and enhanced senses, Della Tsang's life as a vampire certainly hasn't been easy. Especially since she was reborn and bound to the mysterious, infuriating, and gorgeous Chase Tallman.

But if there's one thing that's always kept Della going, it's her dream of being an elite paranormal investigator. Her newest case is the opportunity she's been waiting for, but as Della tries to solve the twenty year old murder and clear her father's name. She uncovers secrets about the vampire council. And about Chase.

Feeling betrayed by all the secrets he's kept hidden from her, Della is determined to keep him as far away from her heart as she can. But she'll need his help to solve the case that will lead them into the darkest and ugliest vampire gangs in town and into the scariest reaches of her heart.
Why I’m Waiting:
I love all these books. C.C. Hunter writes YA paranormal romance like a pro. I can’t wait to get more of Della’s story. And I also can’t wait to see what Chase’s secrets are. These books are fun, action-packed, and loaded with friendship, romance, and twists. What’s not to love?
What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Summary from Goodreads:
Bridge is an accident survivor who's wondering why she's still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody's games--or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?
This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl--as a friend?
On Valentine's Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?
I’m reviewing an ARC that I got signed at BEA. The book comes out August 4th though, so you thankfully do not have much of a wait. And you should be waiting for this one. Stead is one of my favorite middle grade writers. Her books, When You Reach Me and Liar & Spy both shocked me in how good they were. I have no idea why I continue to be shocked by Stead’s books. I should just expect greatness at this point. This was definitely greatness.
I have been able to see myself in all of Stead’s characters. I connect to what makes them stand out, or what makes them “weird.” And then I connect even further to how these characters see the world. I loved and connected to Bridge maybe more so than any of her other characters. I love that she was sort of the more “normal” one in her friend’s trio. Tabby was the uber political feminist (who I adored). And Emily was the athletic popular one and the first one to discover boys.
I loved that different things were important to each friend: sports, social issues, family. And I loved that none of them felt too pressured to be like each other. Bridge didn’t want to be in any club and then fell in love with being on stage crew on her own. She didn’t join a club or a team because her friends did. She was her own person. And I loved her for this.
I also loved the handling of a form of cyber bullying. I love that the publisher didn’t market this as a cyber bullying book nor even make this the central focus. I think this was one of the best handlings of the topic I’ve seen. There’s the problem, there’s the repercussions of the problem, and then there’s the unfairness and handling of the problem. 
And then there’s the slightly older, nameless character who ditched school on Valentine’s day. All we know is he/she is avoiding school and an epic mistake made with a friend that day. And this story so nicely fits in with the trio of friends that gets the main focus. So much happens in regards to friendship, trust, betrayal, and family. There are some chapters in the point of view of a boy who enters Bridge’s life. And I loved his chapters too. I loved that they weren’t all about Bridge and I loved that Bridge took her time in deciding her feelings. I shipped them hardcore, and I loved how their relationship grew.
Also, through the whole book is the immense sense of setting. Like Stead’s other books, it takes place in NYC. And the city is as much a part of the book as the characters are. Everything from the black and white cookies to the blocks walked to get home, to the car accident reference pieces of NYC. And I love that you can never forget where you are while reading this.
All the things that happened in this book from the character who won’t take off her cat ears headband, to the one texting her crush too many photos, to divorce, to learning about what’s not fair in the world all just felt like things that could and probably do happen. Nothing seemed fake or added for drama purposes.
I loved the story, the setting, and the characters. This is definitely another one of my favorite contemporary middle grade books out there. I can’t wait to see what else Rebecca Stead will write. This gets a 10/10.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another Day by David Levithan

Summary from Goodreads:
In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.
This is one of the books I attended BEA for. Every Day is one of my all time favorite books. I wasn’t expecting to like this one as much as the first –how could that be humanly possible? I’ve met the author a few times in the past, and he always comes off as so genuinely kind that I cannot help but want to read everything he has to say. Going to a signing for the companion novel of one of my all time favorite books (which I also have signed) is probably one of the best experiences a girl can have.
Why was I expecting not to like it as much? Well, I remembered Rhiannon from Every Day. She’s not the easiest person to like. I remember just not getting why she would stay with such an awful boyfriend. I remember feeling she didn’t deserve the kind, goodhearted A. And I know my opinion of her was biased because anyone in comparison to A would come off as mediocre. I mean A has no bias whatsoever in regard to gender, race, class, etc. Everyone in comparison looks bad. But, my least favorite characteristic in a character is one who can’t stand up for her/his self at all.
So, I went into reading this book with both excitement for Levithan’s excellent writing skills and trepidation for being in the head of a character who I knew had issues standing up for herself. The most surprising thing of all for me was I finished the book loving Rhiannon. I didn’t love her at first. I had all the problems with her that I knew I would have. There’s just something about her that is so real, any beyond relatable.
No one can actually be as good as A. I wish to be. I wish I could not judge a person by anything they show on the outside. I strive to be A. But Rhiannon almost justified to me that striving to be A is good enough. It’s okay to not be as good. And frankly, what she put up with and was able to handle might have been more than I could have handled. Plus, I love that Rhiannon grows to be a better person.
She learns to see that what’s inside a person is more important than what’s on the outside. She grows to see that not all people think the same way and that’s okay. And most of all, she grows to respect herself. She’s even able to finally stand up for what she wants and what she believes by the end.
This was such a strong novel. It was more “coming of age” themed than Every Day. Every Day was unlike anything I’d ever seen before or even dreamed possible. And Another Day had a lot of lot of that wow factor, but also maintained a steady realistic, contemporary, a-typical YA vibe too. Levithan weaved all these elements together to not necessarily write a new story, but to expand on an already great one.
David Levithan, can you write anything I won’t love? I devoured this novel. It surpassed my expectations. I even grew to love a character I never though I would. I give this a 10/10. I think all fans of Every Day should give this a try. I read an ARC and the pub date is August 25th.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Re-Read 2015: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Summary from Goodreads:
Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfill the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?
First off, I need to mention that I tried to time my re-read of this to be in July. And it’s not just because Harry’s birthday is at the end of the month. I wanted to contribute something to:
Harry Potter Month
Harry Potter Month is a yearly event taking place throughout the month of July, to coincide with Harry Potter's birthday. Hosted by Faith @ GeekyZooGirl and myself here at Lunar Rainbows Reviews, the aim is to fill the month with all things Potter.  There will be themed posts, discussions, art and fans rereading the books and rewatching the movies, all of which will earn the participants House-Points towards the House Cup at the end of the month. For more information or to sign up, click here.
So, to add to the cup for Gryffindor, and to contribute to a wonderful month, I’m sharing my re-read review.
Please don’t read the rest of this post, if you don’t want book 7 spoilers. I’m assuming in this review that people have read all the books already.
I’ve slowly been re-reading this series this year as part of re-read challenge I setup for myself. The thing though is, it was not a challenge at all. Re-reading these books is like meeting up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. There’s nothing in the world I’d rather do. This book in particular was a real treat to re-read. It’s only my third time reading it. I first read it at midnight. And then I read it so quickly –to find out how it would all end. Then, I read it again a few years ago. But, this time, it was nice because I had recently re-read the ones before, so my brain was ready for it.
I was able to put all the pieces together that Rowling so smartly had in place since book one. Also, if it’s possible, I felt a lot more emotionally connected to characters in this go-around. I cried for Dobby and Fred, and I don’t even think I did that the first time.
I remember thinking certain scenes were too cheesy for my tastes before (like the chapter called “King’s Cross” and the whole epilogue), but now I can’t imagine this story not having those things. I’d be upset not knowing where everyone was 19 years later. I needed that closure. I needed to know that Hogwarts would be okay.
I also took my time reading this time. I savored each word, knowing it would be a while until I returned to them again. I forgot how much of this book was about Dumbledore. I forgot how much of the important stuff was figured out by Harry in this book. I keep letting the movies block my memories of the words and I shouldn’t do that. I also forgot how much of this book was about wands.
I loved all the small details that came full-circle here. Harry and Griphook talk about Harry’s first experience at Gringotts. Harry and Ollivander talk about the wand choosing the wizard. Old characters return like Lee Jordan and Krum. Everything from Rita Skeeter’s book to Snape’s memories were just so thought out and I still can’t even believe how it all fit so nicely together. Rowling is a master of storytelling.
Of course nothing was a surprise any more. And there were moments I wanted to yell at the characters before they did something dumb like say Voldemort’s name and then get kidnapped and taken to the Malfoys. But, I also remember when all the things were a surprise. And it’s so easy to get wrapped up in this story and pretend it is my first time reading it.
There are some things the movie leaves out, like Hermione being tortured (and not just cut with a knife) or Dumbledore once believing that wizards were better than muggles. I also feel like certain scenes were way more manageable in book form than in movie form. All the moments camped in the woods flew by quicker in the book than they seemed to in the movie. Granted, the movie did “need” to be in two parts. I also like how Harry handles having the elder wand better in the book.  I almost can’t believe how many details like that I forgot about with all my movie viewings.
I know I’m in the minority in saying this, but I always shipped Hermione and Ron, and I loved watching their relationship grow in this book. I also loved watching the threesome’s friendship grow to a new height. There is so much darkness in this book, so much that has to be accomplished, found, and beaten, that’s it hard to imagine there’s room for anything like laughter, but there is.
There is also so much heart. There’s the winning over of Kreacher and there’s Neville becoming a rebel. Luna is still always saying the right thing (even helping Harry escape everyone at the very end). There’s clues left behind by the best professor out there. And there’s the constant fight for what is right. The added story of the Hallows is also amazing. I loved how hard the decision was for Harry between going to Gringotts for another horocrux or going to Hogwarts for the elder wand. I’m not sure I could have made that same decision. And I’m definitively not sure I could have let that wand go.
This book, along with the rest, is a book I can read over and over again. So much happens in it. There’s so much darkness and death, but there’s also humor, love, closure and such a great ending. Reading this again really felt like connecting with old friends. I know there will be many more re-readings in the future for me. This book has to get a 10/10. There’s not much out there that compares or that I’d even consider reading more than 3 times (let alone the 20 or so times I’ve read most of the books in this series).

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (149)

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 Calamtiy by Brandon Sanderson (2/16/16):
Description on Goodreads:
When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners’ leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back. . .

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.
Why I’m Waiting:
I love this author. I love this series. The first book in this series was actually my first Sanderson book and I’m so glad I picked it up. And I’m so glad I got to meet Sanderson and have him sign it, even though I had no idea that this guy would become one of my favorites. Seriously, this is fantasy at its best. And I cannot wait for February. I’m not someone who normally say this because that’s always the worst month of winter in New England. But, I don’t care. February cannot come fast enough.
What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Re-read 2015: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan and read by Joshua Swanson

Summary from Goodreads:
Jason has a problem.
He doesn't remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper. His best friend is a kid named Leo, and they're all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids", as Leo puts it. What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret.
Her father, a famous actor, has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he's in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn't recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools.
His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What's troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper's gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.
I’m not going to lie; I initially stopped reading Rick Riordan’s books after I read this one. I remember thinking I just didn’t like these characters as much as I liked Percy, Grover, and Annabeth. Also, I remember just feeling like so much of the monster of a book (it’s twice as many cd’s as most of the Percy books) seemed to feel like a waste of space. There was so much repetition for me about learning about all the gods actually existing, about leaning about the camp, about leaning about it all. And it just wasn’t as interesting a second time.
So, is all that still true with my re-read? Not completely. I definitely enjoyed this one more as an audiobook. It was easy for me to differentiate between the three points of view because they each had a different sounding voice. I also enjoyed the story and the characters a little bit more. I did still find a lot repetition from the past books, and it was even more evident just having finished them.
Also, I still don’t like Leo that much. He’s the comic relief character. And while I like that the humor of the Percy Jackson books remains, I’m not sure I can ever be a big fan of a character that appears to be just that humor.
Everyone who has read these books and loved the Percy Jackson ones told me I had to give this newer series another try and that the books get better after this monster of a first one. I wanted to re-read them all so my mind was ready to get started with the rest of the books. And I’m glad I did. I loved re-reading all the Percy books. And I’m only two discs in to Son of Neptune and I’m already loving it too. So, I’m glad I went back and re-read The Lost Hero even though it’s definitely not my favorite Riordan book.
There’s still amazing things in it like mechanical dragons, arctic adventures, Roman mythology, more interactions with different Gods, quests, epic prophecies, rescue missions, and battle with giants. And there’s also cameos by some of my old favorite characters. Though, there’s no Percy. He is missing (being the “lost hero” and all). And you find out where he is in book 2, so yeah, I’m already liking book 2.
There’s the super cool overlap of Greek and Roman mythologies. And there’s more of the blending of the real world with the magical/mythological one that I love. This re-read has me liking Jason and Piper a lot more. I’m still not a big Leo fan. I kept waiting to like him more, and never quite getting there. Though, his history is interesting.
I’m not a fan of the repetition. I’d rather of gotten right into the good stuff: the action and adventure. I did still like the story. I even grew to like certain characters more with this reading. I’m already on to the next book, and I’m looking forward to continuing on with this author. This book gets a 7/10.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Good Week in Books (113)

I had another nice book week. A book I pre-ordered a long time ago came out and I was so excited to see it at my door. Sometimes a girl forgets what she pre-orders and then it’s a nice surprise. I also got four new books for review. Thank you, Macmillan and Hachette.

Jesse’s Girl
by Miranda Kenneally
Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
School for Evil Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough
Trollhunters by Fuillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus
How was your week in books?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer Shelves Giveaway

To make some more room on my shelves for new summer reads, I am giving away four books. And I’ll probably be giving more away soon too.
This giveaway is just for US FOLLOWERS because I’m shipping them all myself. But, I’ll open another giveaway to everyone at a later date.
If you win, and you don’t want all of them, just let me know. And I’ll donate whatever you don’t want to my library’s book sale.
What’s up for grabs:

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu (paperback)
Blood Will Tell by April Henry (hardcover)
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (hardcover)
Fairest by Marissa Meyer (hardcover)
My standard rules apply. If you win, you need to respond to my email within 48 hours with your US shipping address. If you don’t respond on time, I’ll have to randomly select a different winner.
Good luck and happy summer!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Summary (from Goodreads):
Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.
I’ve been reading Sarah Dessen since I was 13. Some of her books are better than others. But, I always enjoy reading her books no matter what. Her books are the books I set my standards for YA contemporaries against. They all kind of deal with the same things: growing up, friendship, first love, and family –yet they are each remarkably different. Every character Dessen writes is different. And also, so believably real feeling.
I had high hopes for this book, and I was not disappointed. Again, came a different and remarkably believable main character, who has to go through all the things Dessen’s main characters go through, yet it still felt like nothing I have read before. This author’s ability to write character is so amazing. I felt so bad for Sydney and her situation. I felt her guilt, her anger, and her worry. I also felt her new best friends’ love, charm, and fear. I felt the love interest’s story too and all he overcame.  I had so much feels.
I never really liked Sydney’s parents, though I don’t think I was supposed to. I get why they were the way they were. But, I just felt so bad for Sydney. Yes, she had so much freedom (initially), but unlike with other YA main characters who have that freedom, she felt kind of neglected. Her parents never really saw her or worked to understand her. They were too focused on her brother.
I loved that Sydney was so good. There were several things that happened where I don’t think I could have been as good as she was. She stayed and helped a friend who was not acting like a friend, when she was the needed the most. She followed the strict guidelines set by her parents even when she didn’t agree with them. She missed important moments because she listened to the rules set by her parents. And it was kind of nice having a main character who didn’t break rules. She certainly had all the reasons not to break them. One of the reasons she started a new school was because she knew her parents had put a lot of money into lawyer costs for her brother.
I guess it was also hard for me to like her parents because of the character, Ames, the boy who creeps her out. Her parents invited him to live with them! Sydney never talked to her parents about him, so I could see why they’d be a little oblivious. But, they were 100% oblivious to how Sydney was feeling all the time, and this bothered me. She clearly did not like being in the same room with the guy, and argued against all his visits, every time. No one thought to ask why? I felt so horrified by her parent’s neglect and ignorance of the whole situation. I don’t think I would have been able to handle her parents as well as she did.
I loved the romance. I loved the friendship that developed first and all the sarcasm and witty dialog that came with it. I loved Sydney’s new best friend. And I even kind of loved her old ones too. The characters in here were so real. I felt like I knew them.
I also liked Sydney’s brother and that he wasn’t exactly how she always saw him. I liked that he saw all the craziness coming from his mother just as much as Sydney did. And this book did a lot of cool things with perspective. People surprise you. Not everyone sees you how you see yourself. And not everyone sees people the same way you do.
There’s concerts, hidden carousels in the woods, pizza delivery, school, romance, and family drama. There’s also some more intense topics like sexual assault, terminal illness, prison sentences, and addiction. This book had everything I expected and more. I read the whole thing in under 24 hours. It’s probably one of my favorite Dessen novels and I recommend it to all YA contemporary fans out there. I give it a 10/10.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (148)

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 Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (12/1/15):

Description on Goodreads:
A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.
Why I’m Waiting:
These books are marvelous. Seriously, the sci-fi, the romance, the worlds, the action, and the over-arcing plot that connects them all is just so spot-on. I cannot wait to continue with this amazing story. Also, these covers are so, so pretty. December will not come fast enough!
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Soundless by Richelle Mead

Summary (from Goodreads):
From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore.

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...
I picked this one up at BEA, and normally I wouldn’t read/review something so early before its pub date, but this was just another book I couldn’t sit in the same room with and not read. It comes out in November.
I love Richelle Mead. When I learned she was doing a standalone YA novel based on Chinese folklore, I pretty much fan-girled out like I have never before. I was so happy to be able to get this one in NY and to meet the author (for a second time)! Mead is up there with my all time favorite romance writers in this genre.
So, I hate saying this, but I was a little disappointed. I did have insanely high expectations. I mean her other YA series are ridiculously good. And this book did have some amazing things going for it. I loved the world it was set in. I’ve never seen Mead do such good world building. And the idea behind the whole thing: the gaining sound back and using it save her people was utterly cool. I’ve never read a setting like this before. And Mead’s writing made it all so visible.
I just kind of feel that all the unique creativity died after that. The world was fun and different. But, then come in the characters, the forbidden love interest, and the rather dystopia-feeling plot line that I have read a million times before.
I used to love dystopias, but I have sort of gotten a little tired of this plot line. The main character is in a not so great place, but accepts the world as it has always been. Main character does everything in her power to protect a loved one (in this case a sister). Main character slowly comes to accept that this is not the way things should be and falls in line/love with a rebellious character. Main character has to decide if she should escape or try to save everyone. Main decides to save everyone (who mostly seem to hate her). Sometimes this plot can be good, or at least, I used to like it. Now, I’ve just read it so many times. And I was kind of hoping that Mead would take it in a new direction.
The characters also fell a little flat for me. I was super excited to find out that Mead was writing a standalone. But, I think Mead’s characters tend to be ones that grow on me over time. It took me a while to love Sydney and Adrian. I didn’t like Adrian at all when I first met him in the first series. But, but by the next series, I loved him. There was no adjustment time to like these characters, and I just never fully connected to them. I also sadly never connected to any side characters either. I really didn’t like the sister character much at all, so I never cared too much about Fei saving her.
The romance was also very standard. I found Fei’s and Li Wei’s relationship to just be frustrating. I’m not sure I fully understood Fei’s commitment to the status system of her society because I didn’t really see too much of it before the story got moving. And I found so much of her obvious love for the guy pushed back for no reason. Were their different professions really so important to her when their ability to get back was always so questionable?
I still read this book super fast. I loved the world. I loved the concept behind the story. I was not a fan of the romance. I didn’t really connect to the characters. And I wanted something a little more unique for the plot and characters, to go along with the unique setting. All in all, I give it a 7/10.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Good Week in Books (112)

I had a nice, little book week thanks to Macmillan. I got three new books for review. And I feel like I’ve finally gotten back into my reading frenzy that I’m accustomed to. It’s summer time, and what better way to spend it then with books?

Rebel Mechanics
by Shanna Swendson
Ashes and Roses
by MJ Auch
Forever for a Year by B.T. Gottfred
How was your week in books?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (147)

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 Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente (3/1/16):

Description on Goodreads:
The fifth and final book in the Fairyland series.
Why I’m Waiting:
So, that’s not much of a description, I know. But, I guess this book needs no description or preamble. I want it like mad. I have loved every book in this series to date, and I can’t imagine not loving the final installment. The writing is brilliant. The characters are amazing. The world is incredible. And can’t wait to find out what happened to certain favorite characters of mine.
What are you waiting on this week?