May 31, 2016

TTT #63: Ten Perfect Summer Reads


Since I don't really go to the beach I decided to make my topic just general summer reads, books that just feel like they should be read during the summer. I am featuring books that have already been published or will be published sometime during the summer.

Fantasy

 


Mystery/Thriller


Contemporary/Romance



15 comments
May 26, 2016

A Straight to the Point Review: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski (March 2016)
484 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Some kisses come at a price.

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

My Review

I really didn't know what to expect before reading the final installment of the Winner's Curse trilogy. I didn't even read the jacket before I began, I just jumped right in. The final book was AMAZING!

Was there romance? Hell yes!

Was there a good amount of action? Yes. In many different forms.

Are the characters as awesome as you remember them being? Definitely yes.

Should you just go ahead and read this book? Obviously.

This series ended beautifully. I really couldn't have asked for a better third book. Fans of the first two books are going to love it. Those that aren't fans yet are going to be. Now that all three books are out, it is the perfect time to give this series a try because you won't have that dreadful wait in between books.

4 comments
May 23, 2016

ARC Review: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame

The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen (June 7, 2016)
336 pages
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Source: I received a free ARC from the publisher. This did not affect my honest review.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.

My Review

I am a big fan of just about everything Swoon Reads publishes, and The Way to Game the Walk of Shame lived up to its predecessors. 

If you are looking for a sweet story and cute characters then this book is for you. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame may be a little cliched at times but most romance novels are, and it is a wonderful story nonetheless. This book is a great reading choice if you are in the mood for a few laughs, a little snark, adorableness, friendship, swoony moments, and an opposites attract type of romance.

Taylor is an ambitious young lady who won't settle for anything less than perfect. Evan is a little rough around the edges but sweet and lovable. Both bring out the best in each other. Evan helps Taylor have a little fun and Taylor helps Evan be serious when needed, like with school. These two will make you smile. I love the idea of a romance blossoming from a previous agreement between the two that claim they are only going to fake being together and not fall in love. Like I said, this one may be a little cliched, but it has its unique moments so don't let that keep you from reading this book. It has a perfect balance between the two. It's just what I wanted in a young adult romance novel.

This book was fun to read. I felt the swoony tingles while reading and look forward to seeing what this author writes in the future. I hope you give this book a chance. It would make a great beach read!

2 comments
May 21, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (4): BEA/BookCon Edition

Hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews

This was my very first time attending BEA and The BookCon and I have to say that it was a success! I was only able to go Friday and Saturday because of work, but considering how exhausted I was after two days I think it worked out for the best. I got a lot of books, met a lot of wonderful bookish people while waiting in line, and met some wonderful authors (David Arnold, Jay Kristoff, Aime Kaufman, Ruta Sepetys, Morgan Matson, Raina Telgemeier, Jeff Giles, & Aimee Friendman)! 

BEA/BookCon Haul

Look at all the pretties! It was hard to get my hands on some of the bigger YA books because people got a little crazy, but I am proud of my haul. I tried not to take anything that didn't sound interesting to me.

The Ten Books I am Dying To Read the Most

1. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
2. Gemina by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
3. Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
4. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
5. Replica by Lauren Oliver
6. The Reader by Traci Chee
7. The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
8. Disruption by Jessica Shirvington
9. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
10. The Next by Stephanie Gangi

15 comments
May 17, 2016

TTT #62: Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim


I love this week's topic, but it was really freaking hard to come up with ten books that I have read on a whim. I am a very calculated reader. I read most of my books based off of recommendations from friends, family, co-workers, and bloggers. I also usually even look at goodreads before deciding if I want to read a book. I really wish I would read more on a whim. Anyway, here are the books I read without any significant planning. Titles are linked up to my reviews.


1. The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway: One day this beautiful book arrived in the mail from the publisher and I hadn't even heard of it before, but I liked the cover so I started to read it. I freaking loved it.

2. Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart: I didn't know anything about this book before I read it. I won it during Bout of Books and gave it a whirl. It was hilarious and gory.

3. Stay by Allie Larkin: I was browsing the shelves at the library and the cover of this book just screamed at me to take it home and read it. (Just look at that cute puppy!)

4. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg: I can't remember what brought me to read this book. I think I just read the synopsis and decided to give it a go. I liked it a lot.

5. The Walled City by Ryan Graudin: I don't know a lot of bloggers that have read this book, but it was pretty darn good. I think I just read the synopsis one day and decided to try it.


6. Velvet by Temple West: I love vampires. I love Swoon Reads titles. That is all I knew about this book before reading it. Now I am dying for the sequel!

7. Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly: I saw the cover so I read it. It was cute.

8. Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm: I honestly don't remember why I chose to read this book, but I remember that I was just randomly in the mood to read a graphic novel and I picked this one. It is so very good.

9. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin: I heard of this book when it first came out in 2014 but didn't know much about it. I picked it up a few months ago and devoured it!

10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver: I read this book before I even started blogging, I just snagged a copy from the library one day and started reading. I now want to own this series in the pretty new paperbacks.

Do you research a book before you read it like me? What books have you bought on a whim?


12 comments
May 16, 2016

Review: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte (#1) by Brittany Cavallaro (March 2016)
321 pages
Genre: Young Adult Sherlock Holmes Retelling
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

My Review

I love everything and anything to do with Sherlock Holmes. So when I heard about this new young adult retelling where the teenagers are actual descendants from the original Sherlock and Watson I was like "Sign me up!" Let me tell you something, it was just about as good as I thought it would be. 

A Study in Charlotte was a wonderful read. I enjoyed Cavallaro's writing style. I liked the setting and the mystery, and I pretty much LOVED Watson and Charlotte quite a bit. Watson is obsessed with his ancestry, and I can't blame him. Who wouldn't want to be a Watson? He is a sweet kid who is a great friend and just trying to sort out his family relationships white trying to fit in at his new boarding school. Charlotte is just like a Holmes would be. She is crazy smart, intense, and a little cold. These two make a great team. 

The only part of A Study in Charlotte I wasn't a big fan of was a small thing to do with the plot. I am not talking about it being unrealistic, because that was kind of to be expected and didn't bother me none. I can't really talk about what really bothered me without giving anything away so let's just say that I figured out who the killer was sooner than I would have...

If you are a Sherlock fan then you should definitely give this book a try. It was a lot of fun and dark and it will make you smile. Sorry for another short review, but the words just haven't been coming to me lately. Hopefully my next review will flow a little more smoothly.

4 comments
May 9, 2016

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Sign Up, Goals, & Updates

I always participate in Bout of Books and I always enjoy it! This time around I am still signing up and hope to get some reading done, but since this week is BEA/BookCon I am not sure how much I will actually be participating.  At the very least, I hope to finish my current read and one ARC for the May Clean Sweep ARC Challenge I am participating in.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My Goals

Reading Goals
~ Read at least 2.5 books!
~ Write the review soon after finishing the book.

Social Goals
~ Participate in one Twitter chat.
~ Participate in at least two challenges.

The Books 
~ The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
~ The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
~ The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller 
~ The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Updates

Monday
I read 40ish pages.

Tuesday
I read 0 pages.

Wednesday
I read 40ish pages.

Thursday
I read 0 pages.

Friday
I read 0 pages.

Saturday
I read 0 pages.

**Sunday (FINAL/TOTAL UPDATE)
I read a total of 204 pages. :(

Final Thoughts

So I basically signed up for Bout of Books but didn't really participate. Since I worked all week, had puppy class, and then went to BEA Friday and BookCon Saturday I barely read a thing. I did at least finish the book I was reading. That is something... right? I do however look forward to participating in the next Bout of Books and am pretty sure I won't be nearly as busy. How did everyone else do this week?

6 comments

Get Graphic!

Here is a new mini review round-up of all the graphic novels I have read recently. Go head, get graphic!

5 Stars


Grayson: Agents of Spyral (#1) by  Tim Seeley, Tom King (Jan. 2016)

I absolutely loved these comics. Grayson is amazing. Did you know that he was originally Robin from Batman & Robin? I didn't, but luckily there is some really nice background information at the beginning of the story so I didn't need to know. I loved this story and illustrations. I may have a new fictional crush. Read it!



4.5 Stars



Giant Days (Vol. 2) by John Allison
Goodreads

The sequel was just as much fun as the first one! The characters are interesting and unique and even though the stories are out there they are still relatable.




4 Stars


Batgirl, Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside (Batgirl Vol. IV #6) by Cameron Stewart (2015)
Goodreads

I like this Batgirl who wears converse/boot type shoes and sports a leather jacket instead of spandex. I really liked Barbara Gordon. She is smart, strong, and relatable. I liked the story arc in these comics, but at times I did get a little lost. Overall this one was a lot of fun!


Adulthood Is a Myth: A "Sarah's Scribbles" Collection by Sarah Andersen (March 2016)
Goodreads

This graphic novel is pretty darn accurate and entertaining. It reminded me of myself quite a bit. The drawings are adorable and I just wish there were even more.


Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge (2013)
Goodreads

I liked the illustrations, but I loved the story this time around. It is sweet and interesting. I think teens would love this book. I was just a little sad that the illustrations aren't in color. I think color would have really enhanced the story.


The Worrier's Guide to Life by Gemma Correll (2015)
Goodreads

This one wasn't my favorite. I liked the art a lot. I did not like the content as much. Many people will, but the style of the whole piece just wasn't for me. I did think some of the comics were pretty true and funny, but as a worrier I was kind of disapointed.



3.5 Stars


Emma, Vol. 1 by Kaoru Mori (2015)
Goodreads

Emma is the first Manga I have ever read. It was a very rough start since you read them backwards than what I am used to, but I did get the hang of it after a while. I liked the story just fine and enjoyed the wonderful drawings with all of it's lines and details. It was a good read.



Wolf Volume 1: Blood and Magic by Ales Kot, Matt Taylor, Lee Loughridge (2015)
Goodreads

Wolf is unique and very interesting. Antoine Wolfe is a complex main character who is just trying to save his brother in a world of creatures, evil, vampires, and magic. I love the cover and the art and how gritty everything is.



Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola (2015)
Goodreads

I was slightly disapointed by this read, but it may be just because of my age. I liked the story okay and the illustrations just fine. I was just hoping it would be a little more spooky.




2.5 Stars


A Silent Voice, Vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Ooima (2013)
Goodreads

(Spoilers Ahead) I am really not sure I can recommend A Silent Voice to anyone. It's all about a boy who bullies a deaf girl. He is horrible to her and people either encourage him or turn a blind eye. When he does finally get punished.... everyone then bullies him. What kind of message is that?! Not a fan.



6 comments
May 5, 2016

Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword (#2) by Victoria Aveyard (Feb. 2016)
444 pages
Genre: YA Other...
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
**This review may contain spoilers of the first book.
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

My Review

I had the hardest flipping time getting into this book. Did I end up liking it? Well enough. I just think I read it when I was in the complete wrong mood. I am a mood reader you know...

Glass Sword begins where Red Queen left off. It was exciting at first, but then I really had a hard time caring about what was going on. I don't know why, but my attention just wandered. I also got a tiny bit annoyed with Mare, who repeatedly reminds us that she has power over electricity. I hear you, Mare. I hear you. 

It took me three weeks to read Glass Sword. Three weeks. Once I hit the halfway point I really had to push myself to keep reading. Luckily the last 1/4 of the book was really good, hence where the three stars came from.

I know this is a very vague review and I am sorry for that, but I had a hard time with this one for who knows what reason and therefore am finding it hard to come up with words to describe my experience. 

I think that if you read and liked Red Queen you should give the sequel a try. You will probably like it. I think I may even read the next book because that ending was killer.

6 comments
May 4, 2016

Library Loot #45


Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

** I did it. I got even more books from the library. My bad.



My Library Loot

1. It's here!!!!!!!!!

2. Two new graphic novels.
 

3. Parallel worlds? Heck yes!


3 comments
May 2, 2016

I am going to BEA16 & BookCon!



This is what happened when I found out BEA16 and BookCon were going to be in Chicago this year, a city not too far from me that I can actually afford to visit.

This is what I looked like when I found out my library bought me a one day pass for BEA16 for Friday. (I didn't curse out loud at work of course...)

This was my reaction when I was able to take Saturday off of work to go to BookCon.

This is how I reacted a day ago when I realized BEA and BookCon are only two weeks away!

This is how I am feeling today. May 13 & 14 can't come soon enough! 

I have been reading different blog posts for BEA tips and tricks. I joined the BEA group on goodreads. I am now currently working on my own author signing schedule. If you have any advice or blog posts I should read about BEA or Book Con please tell me in the comments, and please tell me if you are going too and maybe we shall see each other! 

6 comments
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