Friday, August 26, 2016

Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

Summary from Goodreads:
There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor's always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that's what is expected of a senator's daughter. But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for her boyfriend-and Taylor's kicked out of private school. Everything she's worked so hard for is gone, and now she's starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor's escape from the pressures of school and family, but it's hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she's going through is her older brother's best friend, Ezra. Taylor's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it's hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?
I love all of Miranda Kenneally’s books. I really do. She writes such fun, real, and light hearted contemporaries. Her main characters almost always play some kind of sport. And while a nice part of the book involves practice and being active, another large part of the book deals with romance and family. This was the perfect book to take to the beach with me this past week. If Kenneally could always write books to time perfectly with my vacations, that would be the best.
I love how strong this main character is. Taylor takes the heat for something she didn’t do because she refuses to see herself as a snitch. Basically, she gets busted for having a lot of pills she’s not supposed to have. But, instead of letting her boyfriend get in trouble, she took the blame. She figured she wouldn’t get kicked out of school because her dad is a state senator. Little did she know that her dad would refuse to advocate for her.
She also brings down her dad’s campaign in election year. She looses her place in the soccer world. She possibly looses her spot in Yale early decision. She has to start over at a new school where everyone hates her and sees her as rich snob. And top it all off, her boyfriend lets it all happen and doesn’t seem to get that Taylor is done with him.
This is a book about learning what is most important. Everyone in Taylor’s life has different opinions about what is most important. And she takes all the backlash from everyone, never giving in. She is tough, strong, and I felt so sorry for her. She got help from a caring guidance councilor and an old crush. I love that this book highlights that it’s okay to not always know what you want. Taylor learns she has to go after what she wants and not just do what everyone else wants of her.
I love the friendships that develop on the new soccer team. I love the old crush. And mostly, I just love Taylor. This one resonated so strongly with me. We’ve all been in that place where we don’t know what decision to make, and it’s hard not deciding things based off of what everyone else wants. This is a great book to teach that focusing on yourself and your own wants is just if not more important.
Kenneally’s books definitely are a bit formulaic. They follow a very similar story arc each time. However, I know this going in. I expect it and enjoy it. I really liked this one and I hope Kenneally keeps writing. I give it a 10/10.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Summary from Goodreads:
I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.
I had a little bit of a love/hate relationship with this one. Like all Carrie Ryan books, I ate it up like popcorn. I literally read the whole thing in a matter of hours. Oh, and I love a good revenge story. On the other hand, this book was almost too similar to the show, “Revenge.”
I love the idea of a strong, independent teen girl getting revenge for the murders of her family and close friends. Frances Mace will probably be traumatized for the rest of her life. She has nightmares about the shootings. She constantly has to relive the memories of her survival on the life raft. She has nightmares and so much anger and sadness. She has lost everything, and I can’t help but want her to succeed in her revenge.
What happened on that cruise ship was terrifying. This is a dark book. And I couldn’t get enough of it. I read it super fast and I needed answers just as much as Frances did. Why were the other survivors lying? What on earth was going on?
That being said, too much of the story was similar to a tv show I used to watch called “Revenge.” The setting was the same. The love interest was the same. The one character from the past that figures it out is kind of the same. The taking of someone else’s identity is the same. The getting revenge through wining the love of a guy thing is the same…The coming into a fortune and having limitless spending for revenge is also the same. The one major difference was the beginning and what the girl is getting her revenge for.
Also, the reason behind everything (aka: all the answers) left a lot to be desired. For all the work, hardship, and pain, I wanted more of an explanation than I received.  I felt a little cheated at the end.
All in all this was fun. The suspense was great. I read it in a matter of hours. It’s a great book to take to the beach with your.  If you have never seen the show, “Revenge” you might love this book. If you have seen the show, you will be marking all the similarities as you go and this isn’t fun. The ending was a bit too anti-climatic. I was expecting more. I give this a 7/10.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (200)

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 Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead (4/25/17):

Description on Goodreads:
In MIDNIGHT JEWEL, Richelle Mead goes beyond the glitz and glamour of the Glittering Court, delving into the dark, political underbelly of Cape Triumph through the eyes of one girl who dares to fight for her freedom.

A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining 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. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.

By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

MIDNIGHT JEWEL is the extraordinary story of a girl with few options who courageously forges a new path, finding love, passion, lifelong friendships, and maybe even a way to freedom.
Why I’m Waiting:
I really enjoyed the first installment. I cannot wait to get Mira’s perspective and learn what exactly she has been up to. She was my favorite character in the first book. And while there were things I did not like in the first book, there were a lot of things I loved. The big thing I loved: the emphasis on friendship. I love that these books seem to be at their core: friendship stories. Mead knows how to write drama too. I know this one will be loaded with it. I cannot wait.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Summary from Goodreads:
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
This was my first adventure with Victoria Schwab. And color me impressed. This is an author who seriously understands the fine workings of world-building. She never dumped all the strange, unique elements of her world at you. You kind of had to put it all together through various school lessons, inner monologues, and arguments with family. And I loved this so much. And this was no simple fantasy world.
The concept of this book is so different and so fresh, I ate it up. The idea is that monsters are created (they literally pop into existence out of nowhere) from acts of violence. There are of course three different kinds of monsters too. Not all acts of violence are equally bad. The worst or strongest kind of monster is bred from acts of extreme violence like bombs exploding and mass shootings. What a terrifying and amazing idea!
How did this author even come up with this? And at the same time, all the metaphors! What a relevant book today in a world swamped in mass shootings and gun violence. This is definitely one of those books that can be dissected by high school classrooms, and talked about for hours in book club discussions. There is so much that can be taken from the crazy, insane concept.
I loved that I got dual perspectives: one from the daughter of an evil human leader, and one from a monster, fighting for the “good” human leader. I loved August. What a deep, dark, and special character. I loved the blurring of the lines between what was good and bad and how this book emphasized that no one is really just one or the other.
Also, I’ve heard other reviewers describe the opening in this book as slow. I have to disagree. This was my favorite book opening in a long time. It starts with one of the main characters burning down a church….Just wow. I was not expecting that.What a brave, nuts, and totally different first few pages this was.
The one thing that I didn’t like was how it felt like the two characters were slowly being pushed together for a romantic thing, and I kind of actually like the idea of them being friends better. I never really shipped them. And I guess I just got used to the fresh ideas and amazing writing, so anything that was a-typical annoyed me. I could be wrong though. And maybe I will end up shipping them in future. Who knows? I definitely will be waiting anxiously for the next installment.
I give this one a 9/10. If anything, it was a fast paced, interesting read. I highly recommend it for book cubs and those who love unique fantasy settings.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Good Week in Books (140)

So, I’ve been a little MIA lately. My mom is up for a long visit. I took a little vacation time, and have been spending my days with my mom, going to the beach, whale watching, looking at art, and eating yummy foods. She’s here one more week, so I might be a little MIA a little longer.  I have been reading a lot of books though. I love time off in the summer. Reading outside by the ocean is the best. So, I will have a lot of book reviews to catch up on.
We went into the most adorable little bookstore, in Chatham called the Yellow Umbrella Books. They had new and used books and had a nice section of books by Cape Cod authors. I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of Pax because Sara Pennypacker lives around here. I’m still waiting on my next Ellie Marnie book, and I know it takes a long time for books to ship internationally, but still. Come faster, book!
The books:

Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Off the Page
by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
How was your week in  books?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary on Goodreads:
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.
So, I got this ARC a bit early. I won it at a YA trivia night at Barnes and Noble. I could not believe my luck. This is probably one of my most anticipated books of the year. Then, I tried to play the game of not reading it until closer to the publication date…I knew I’d lose that game. So, I mad a compromise. I was not going to read this one until after I read the new Harry Potter book. So, that at least gave me until August.
Then of course, I plowed through this at the speed of light. It moves incredibly fast, much like Illuminae. Was it all that I was hoping it would be? Yes and no. The book was again made up of emails, security footage, and instant messages, which was awesome. Again, there were some totally amazing main characters. There was definite interaction with characters from Illuminae (I’m not spoiling this because the authors hinted at this already). The plot was action packed and full of crazy twists. There was never a good moment to put the book down.
I guess the one thing I did not like was how familiar I was with it all. I was hoping for the story to branch a little further away from the plot of book 1. It was almost too similar for me. It was kind of the same story, but with different characters. And because of these similarities, the giant twists of crazy weren’t as surprising as they ordinarily would have been. I would just tell myself what happened in Illuminae and calm down. When characters you like die (and there is tons of death here –tons), you’re never given enough time to grieve them, so you are always second guessing if they are actually dead or not. I don’t want to get in the details of the similarities in plot because then I would be spoiling, but there were enough of them that I kind of wish this story was a little different.
That being said, I did love the action, the drama, the twists and turns, and the characters. I super loved the ending. Wow. Just wow to that end. It was nuts. That part did surprise me a bit. It was probably one of my favorite YA book endings of all time. Seriously, it’s making my rating increase. I give this an 8/10.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (199)

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 Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer and Douglas Holgate (1/31/17):

Description on Goodreads:
In her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure -- with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.
Why I’m Waiting:
I love Marrisa Meyers’s books. And I love graphic novels. When I learned that these two loves of mine would be combined, I just about jumped for joy. Plus, it’s a story about Iko! She’s the one character I really wished we got to spend more time with. So, basically this sounds insanely awesome.
What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Every Word by Ellie Marney

Summary on Goodreads:
James Mycroft has just left for London to investigate a car accident similar to the one that killed his parents seven years ago...without saying goodbye to Rachel Watts, his 'partner in crime'.

Rachel is furious and worried about his strange behaviour - not that Mycroft's ever exactly normal, but London is the scene of so many of his nightmares. So Rachel jumps on a plane to follow him...and lands straight in a whole storm of trouble.

The theft of a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, the possible murder of a rare books conservator, and the deaths of Mycroft's parents...Can Watts help Mycroft make sense of the three events - or will she lose him forever?

Sparks fly when Watts and Mycroft reunite in this second sophisticated thriller about the teen sleuthing duo.
So, this was supposed to be the book I could easily put down, once I got my hands on the latest Harry Potter story. It was not as easy to put down as I was hoping. It was purely awesome.
I really enjoyed book one. I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan. And I super love a boy/girl Holmes/Watson pairing, like in the show Elementary. I enjoyed book 1, but I don’t remember feeling as in love with it as the rest of the world. So, I truly thought book 2 would be the same. I was wrong. Book 2 was better. I finally understand all the love.
First off, the romance is amazing. So much sexual tension between Mycroft and Watts! It’s like all the things happen that I wish would happen on Elementary. But, also, the mystery is insane. It’s connected to the murder of Mycroft’s parents. It takes this duo to London! And it involves Shakespeare’s First Folio being stolen from the Bodleian Library in Oxford, one of the coolest places in the world (at least to English majors and or Harry Potter fans). This the perfect mystery for me.
This book also got seriously intense in moments and ways I was just not expecting. The first book was a little dark. This book was incredibly dark. Things happened that literally made my jaw drop. At one point, I even said out loud, “That did not just happen.”
And what truly makes this book incredible, beyond the top notch romance, the seriously dark mystery of a plot and the wicked, awesome British setting, is the characters. I loved these characters. Watts is so much tougher in this one. For starters, she’s joined a roller derby team. She’s brave enough to jump on a plane to London and go crime solving on her own. She’s a great main character. I loved also getting to know Mycroft more. Learning more of his history was really interesting. And I loved watching him work and interact with other people. Such a character.
All in all, this was a great book. I need to get my hands on the third one, even though it means ordering the book internationally and dealing with my bank that never likes it when I buy books internationally. Seriously, why does Amazon not have it? Or maybe the better question is: why is this not published in the U.S.? This gets a 10/10 from me.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Summary on Goodreads:
The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Oh my goodness. I cannot believe it’s August. I cannot believe this book already came out, and that I already read it (in under 24 hours I must add). I went to the midnight release party, and talked with fans, and celebrated my heart out. I threw a party at my library and then attended a separate party. I had Harry Potter cake and made crafts, and re-watched the first movie. And then of course, I got to read it. I thought nothing could be more nostalgic than attending the release party. I was wrong. Reading this play took me back to all the times I read the Harry Potter books.
And while the play was mostly a feel good play, I was so emotional because of the nostalgia. Reading this was such a treat. I never thought I’d get another story in this universe. And really, I couldn’t be happier.
Was the formatting hard to get used to? Not at all. I guess I kind of associate plays with the tough stuff like Shakespeare. As a prior English major, most of the plays I’ve read were complicated, and written at a much older time, with a much older voice. This was not complicated. It was modern, easy, and fun. I quickly got sucked into the story, as I would a regular novel.
Was it as good as the first 7 books? Honestly, no. Nothing is as good as the first seven Harry Potter novels. Nothing. I almost feel like it wasn’t enough, I needed a third part. Or fourth or a seventh. It felt much shorter than a book. I know some of the magic isn’t there because it’s meant to be seen. I’m so glad I get to actually see it (in April 2017)! But, it was still very impressive.
I loved getting to see the adult versions of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I loved seeing Harry and Ginny as a married couple. I loved seeing Harry struggling to be a father, and not necessarily having a good example to base his techniques off of. I loved the meetings with the Dumbledore portrait. I love that the Marauder’s Map and the invisibility cloak make a comeback.
I don’t want to give too much a way about the story. It was wonderful having a fresh slate and no spoilers. Just know that the story involves some time-jumping with a certain illegal time-turner. And well, this was awesome. Some crucial moments of past books are actually revisited! I never thought I’d get to see this stuff again.
I fell hard for the new characters, particularly the two best friends. I loved the complicated relationship between Harry and Albus. I love that it wasn’t over when it first felt over (a lot like with the third Harry Potter book and the original use of the time-tuner). I guess the storyline with the new bad character was not surprising enough for me. I called it from the beginning. This didn’t make it bad –just a tad too predictable. I was hoping for something a little fresher here.
That being said, I don’t care. I got to revisit Hogwarts, the Forbidden Forrest, Godric’s Hollow, and the Ministry of Magic. For some hours, I returned to a world of magic and friendship, and love. For me, nothing comes close to as good as Harry Potter. And while this wasn’t as good as the original stories, I’m fine with this. I almost wouldn’t want it to be. All in all, this was a magical addition. I loved it. I know I’ll be re-reading it for years to come. I give it a 9/10.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (198)

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 Hunter by Meagan Spooner (3/14/17):

Description on Goodreads:
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?
Why I’m Waiting:
So, I love this author. Though, I’ve never read anything she wrote that wasn’t with another author. I know the story and the romance will be awesome. I’m excited to see how she writes alone. Also, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale. I’m so excited that there have been so many retellings of it lately. I think this will be great.
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

Summary from Goodreads:
The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.
I sort of had a love/hate relationship with this book. I think overall, I ended up loving it more than hating it. I certainly enjoyed it a lot more than book 2. I loved the first book, but I found the second book kind of confusing and all over the place. This final one felt a lot more linear. However, it was the first time I listened to it on audio, so that could be it as well. I know one of my issues with book 2 was remembering which point of view I was in. This is much easier with both a male and a female narrator.
I wish I actually listened to all the installments. I think this would have resolved a lot of issues for me. It doesn’t hurt that both narrators were fantastic, either. I loved Cassie’s voice. She was just enough annoying, and just enough sarcastic and cool.
As one would expect from the final installment of a series that’s all about the end of the world, this book was rather intense. More answers are given. I’m not sure they all make sense to me. Maybe they need to sit with me a little longer. But, at least they were there. The action in this one, particularly at the end, was nonstop. There wasn’t as much random side stories that centered on things that didn’t feel that important (like in book 2). Guess what? All those not-so-important-seeming side stories weren’t important…I really just don’t get a lot of book 2…
Any way, I really enjoyed the characters too. All the scenes with everyone in one house (in the very beginning) were awesome. I loved seeing Cassie and Ringer interact. I loved Zombie’s relationship with Nugget. I loved the weird, young family dynamic that was really just an end result of messed up circumstances. It reminded me a lot of the show, The Walking Dead, which from me, is a major compliment. The outside chaos is bad, but it’s the inner turnmoil and drama that steals the show.
So why a hate relationship at all? One of my biggest red flags in a book is whining. And there was a lot of whining here. I guess if this were a tv show, I wouldn’t have to read all the inner monologues about how awful the world has become. And I guess getting it from one character is okay. But from all the points of views? It was overkill.
And top that off with the author trying so hard to sound a certain way. Sometimes my biggest problem with adult fiction, is the author trying to sound so intelligent. Like you can use smaller words that would actually make more sense in people’s dialog…And I guess in this book, it just felt like Yancey was really trying to come across poetic and metaphorical. And again, I think this would be a lot more tolerable if it were one character who seemed this way. But all the characters? I don’t feel like they would all have the same level of understanding of events, or same level of poetic justice as every character at various ages and stages of development.
I guess my hate relationship lied in the overkill. There was overkill whining. And there was overkill metaphor. I loved the idea of the story. I loved the characters. I just wish the characters were a little more distinguishable. Like, they should not all be using poetic metaphors to describe their situations. They are all very different people. And I don’t think Ringer should make connections the same way Cassie does.
The ending was brave and kind of awesome. It was not what I was expecting and this made me like it a lot more. Not all of the alien stuff made sense to me, but a lot more of it made sense to me than it did before. All in all, I give it an 8/10.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Good Week in Books (139) and Happy birthday, Harry Potter!

This was a remarkably good week in books for me. And, I guess a good week in general. For starters, I had my most successful children’s program (of all time) at my library. I had about 300 people show up! And it wasn’t just any program. It was for the Harry Potter Birthday Party! I got to talk about Harry Potter all day! One kid even asked me where the restricted section was…Sadly, it took me a second to understand. 

Then of course on Saturday, I attended a different Harry Potter party at Barnes and Noble. I picked up the play at midnight (and yes, I’ve already read it). Then, Sunday, I got up early and went to a Walking Dead convention…I’m a huge fan of that show. And I got to meet my TV boyfriend and get a professional photo taken with him…(No offense to real life boyfriend).
I also got my copy of Gemina in the mail. I won it at the last event I attended at Barnes and Noble. I received one book for review (courtesy of Hachette). And I purchased one of my favorite books at Barnes and Noble with a wicked cool coupon they handed everyone who attended the midnight release.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

I also picked up an R2-D2 back pack (for 10 dollars!), some free Harry Potter swag, and I made a wand at that midnight party. Also, in my swag photo, I have some signed Walking Dead cast cards and some crossbow/Daryl earrings. I also purchased one other super cool thing that I cannot show or talk about because it is part of my boyfriend’s birthday present and he does sometimes read this.  And I’m limiting my photo sharing of the convention, but know that I took a ton and that I went to some awesome panels.
Here are some of the Barnes and Noble Party photos:

Here’s the photo of the sheet cake for the Harry Potter Party I threw. Every square inch of that cake was eaten too:

How was your week in books? Did you do anything special for Harry’s birthday?