Hello and Welcome!

Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

I've always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted this space to be but I've been detoured from my path by...lots and lost of other people's opinions and ways of doing things...

I'm committed to this little chunk of the interweb but I've also branched out into other places so! Now it's time to think of Red House Books as more of a hub of all things me! And Me is a hell of a lot of book love!

Stay tuned!

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wishing you all that you need in 2016 :)

Happy End of 2015!!
Happy Beginning of 2016!!

May your shelves be full of friends and your fingers free of paper cuts!


With starting up the blog again, participating in #OTSPSecretSister and discovering my love of all things Instagram, I've had a pretty fun 2015.

My family is fantastic, my friends are awesome and my bookcases are overflowing - what more could I ask for ;)

I read a little over 60 books this year - which isn't an ideal number but I didn't have any reading goals set and I was coming off a major 2014 reading slump so I'm super happy with this number!

Here are my favorites!! (thanks to Instagram because me = obsessed ;)

A photo posted by Emily De Maria (@wilowraven) on


Happy Reading Everyone! 

Can't wait to see what 2016 has to bring!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

And the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down...

...and swallowed me up whole

except the rain is Christmas

and instead of eating me it's totally consumed EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE!

not a horribly bad thing mind you

but...a very time consuming thing

My family and I are hosting Christmas this year - which we have never done (stress!)

We are total homebody introverts who hardly ever have company over and now 4 other full human adults will be in our house for an entire day (stress!)

We need to cook (stress!)
Clean (stress!)
And holidayfy ALL THE THINGS (stress! stress! stress)

And you know, still do things like work full time, shower ourselves, eat meals occasionally, pay bills and live as an adult like life as possible (which on a good day...is usually not very adult like ;)

I had lots of plans for blogging this month - I was going to schedule the hell out of posts! Tweet and Instagram like a superstar! Reply to emails immediately!

and well

my plans kicked me in the arse

December is one of my favorite months because Christmas for me means family - and cutting down a tree, and decorating, and listening to music, and baking and candy and advent calendars and all the silly and wonderful family traditions and I love it all!

And those previously mentioned plans? They didn't really leave room for all the December things I really wanted to do.

And not blogging regularly? It was causing stress! Which is a big big no no in my new outlook on blogging.

So you know what? I'm giving myself a break. I'm saying it's ok to not blog or engage much on social media this month because IT IS OK.

I might be gone until next year. Or I might find myself with free time and be coherent enough to review something in the next couple of weeks.

In any case though, I'm not going to worry (stress!) about it. I'm going to enjoy all the wonderful things in my life as much as I can.

If you're made it this far I thank you and I hope your December is as stress free as it can be. And if it isn't? I'm officially giving you permission to ease up on yourself. You're doing your best and your best is always good enough.

I also wish you and yours a happy, safe December and holiday season!

Thanks for listening :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Book #4 of the Lunar Chronicles
Genre: YA Sci-fi Fantasy
Publication: November 2015 by Feiwel and Friends
Acquisition: bought

Synopsis:
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
(from Goodreads)
5 / 5 Stars

I can't imagine a scenario in which someone would read books 1-3 of The Lunar Chronicles but decide not to finish the series with book 4.

Ok - I guess it could happen. I'm actually terrible at finishing up series.

You know what, I change my mind -- I totally can imagine a scenario in which someone reads books 1-3 of The Lunar Chronicles but doesn't read book 4.

But you know what?

You need to NOT be that person and you totally need to read book 4! (or books 1-3 and then book 4 if you haven't read any of the series yet) (or books 2-3 and then 4 if you only read Cinder and then for reasons we have already established exists, didn't continue with the series) (OR you need to....you're picking up what I'm throwing down here right?)

Bottom line - It's a fabulous series and Winter is a fabulous end to the aforementioned fabulous series.

:)

I really do love this series and I couldn't have been happier with Winter.

It's not a perfect story - maybe a little unrealistic on the happily ever after front? But you know what? It all really worked for me.

There were some surprises. Some things didn't turn out the way I thought they would. But it made sense and it nothing felt rushed or out of the blue.

I've have strong feelings for these characters and with a lot of characters spread over 4 books, that's A LOT of feelings.

The Lunar Chronicles is a series I'm always recommending to folks. I'm sad that it's over but I'm so happy I stuck with this one to the end!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

November 2015 Wrap Up: The Yeah, It's That Time of Year Edition

It's December and it's cold and it might snow soon and I have ALL the things to get ready and ALL the cookies to bake and ALL the Merry Making to Make!

November was a bit of a blur and I haven't actually been able to blog for a few weeks .

I'm not letting it get me down though.

One of the reasons I stopped blogging a few years ago was because it felt like a chore and it wasn't fun anymore because I would get so upset and so mad when I didn't blog -or if I didn't blog 'right'.

I'm done with all of that.

That's not to say I didn't get some twinges of angst as more and more days went by without a post going up.

But you know what? It's all good.

I'm still happy doing what I'm doing!

Now - let's see what I was up to in November.

(Linking it up over Feed Your Fiction Addiction and if you post a monthly wrap up you should too!)

THE REVIEWS

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics | REVIEW 5/5 Stars
The Bargaining by Carly Anne West | REVIEW 3.5/5 Stars
Hello? by Liza Wiemer | REVIEW 4.5/5 Stars
Fairest by Marissa Meyer | REVIEW 5/5 Stars
Nirvana by J.R. Stewart| REVIEW 2/5 Stars

NOVEMBER READS

Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon
Hello? by Liza Wiemer
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Winter by Marissa Meyer
After the End by Amy Plum

Hope everyone had a great
November!
Happy Reading!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review: Nirvana by J.R. Stewart

Book #1 of the Nirvana Series
Genre: YA Dystopian Sci-fi
Publication: November 2015 by Blue Moon Publishers
Acquisition: read a free eARC via NetGalley

Synopsis:
When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?

Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realized - even visits with Andrew.

Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Nirvana is a fast-paced, page-turning young adult novel combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. Part of a trilogy, this book introduces readers to a young woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking on an entire government to do so.
(from Goodreads)
2 / 5 Stars


I need to start by saying that I read the updated e-galley of this one. From the email sent out by the publisher and from reviews on Goodreads, I guess the original copy that was uploaded to NetGalley and sent out went through some major revisions and a new copy was made available. I read the new, updated and what I assume, final copy.

I'm not one to give out 2 star reviews without great consideration before hand. I thought a lot about how I felt about Nirvana before sitting down to write this review and after consideration I can't say that I enjoyed this book.

The premise was very cool - I loved the idea of a world were virtual reality is actually a tangible THING that can affect society. Unfortunately with Nirvana, I never really got a firm fix on the rules of this world. It's a dystopian but it's only been a handful of years since the bees died and everything...changed? And there is one big corporation ruling the..world? City? I don't know and I honestly just didn't understand any of it.

And then there is Kenders. As a character I actually really liked her, but her timeline is beyond logic. It's around 2087 for most of the book. At the beginning, it seems as if Kenders just turned 17. But she's living with her fiance, she's been in a punk rock band, she was an activist, she has a car, an apartment, a job and SO MANY things in her life happened "years ago". No exaggeration - almost every past event she describes happened "years ago". When? When she was 14? Where are her parents? What was she actually doing as a teenager?

And her fiance, is at least 5 years older then her - and they have been together for at least 3 years...and she graduated...something...high school? College? And she was, enough of a pop rock star that her band mate can now make a living off of what sounds like a sort of Vegas show style living. And all of these really important live events happened years ago.

I couldn't get past this.

From what I can gather, I think in the first copy of the book that went out to reviews, Kenders was married. So maybe she was older? Maybe the story was reworked to be more YA and so she's now a teenager but other details of her life weren't changed enough? I really don't know.

Again - very confusing and very lacking in logical facts and the story unfortunately wasn't strong enough to make up the difference.

Even with all that said, I would read another book by this author. At the present, Nirvana appears to be their only published book (although it's going to be a trilogy?) but I have to say, I did enjoy the writing and the style. All the little details of Nirvana just didn't work together for me but overall, the story was a pretty good one.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Book #3.5 of The Lunar Chronicles
Genre: YA Sci-fi Fantasy
Publication: January 2015 by Feiwel and Friends
Acquisition: bought

Synopsis:
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.
(from Goodreads)
5 / 5 Stars

So - who loves The Lunar Chronicles!

"I do! I do!"

A few pages into book one, Cinder and I was hooked. It's just THAT GOOD.

With that said, I wasn't rushing to get my hands on a copy of Fairest. Possibly because I absolutely hate Levana and I was worried that in knowing her backstory I might actually start to feel sorry for her and possibly because I saw it as a fluff book that was only standing in the way of Winter coming!

I was wrong.

On both counts.

Because - OMG No! My hate for Levana was stronger then ever after finishing Fairest.

And because - not only was it a perfect story to read before delving into the 800+ page massiveness that is Winter, it gives some really good background to Winter as a character and some pretty cool insight into the Lunar world.

Do you need to read Fairest before reading Winter? No.

Do you need to read Fairest at all to still enjoy the series as a whole? No.

Should you read Fairest because Meyer is word magician and you love the world she has created so much you just want ALL OF IT? Yes.

Also, on it's own, it's a pretty great story. The backstory of Levena and her family seems to be one that existed all along and not something thrown together or created solely for the purpose of another book to add to the chronicles. It felt, to me, like the details of this story were always there, lurking beneath the surface of books one, two and three.

In essence, it's a pretty perfect backstory -- one where all the pieces fit.

I highly recommend Fairest to fans of The Lunar Chronicles and I highly recommend reading it as book 3.5 - after Cress and before Winter.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

All the Wishes Fit To Print (4)

Additions to my ever growing wishlist -- what's on yours?

The Blood Between Us by Zac Brewer
May 2016 by HarperTeen

"edgy page-turner about the insidious limits of labels" - insidious is right. Labels suck. Lots going on here! Sound fabulous!
Goodreads



Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young
November 2015 by Simon Pulse

I'm a huge fan of Suzanne's and I love big creepy hotels!
Goodreads




Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti
September 2015 by Simon Pulse

Ok - I keep seeing this one in stores but at nearly 550 pages it's a little daunting. But it has heros and supper powers - I wont' be able to hold off for long!
Goodreads


Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr
March 2016 by HarperCollins

Not sure if this takes place in the same world as Wicked Lovely but it's more fae and it's Melissa Marr so I'm excited!
Goodreads

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Book Review: Hello? by Liza Wiemer

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication: TODAY!! November 10, 2015
Acquisition: read a free eARC via NetGalley

Synopsis:
One HELLO? can change a life. One HELLO? can save a life.

Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma's death.
Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical.
Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry.
Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past.
Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both.

Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens' stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope.

Told from all five viewpoints: narration (Tricia), narration (Emerson), free verse poetry (Angie), screenplay format (Brenda), narration and drawings (Brian).
(from Goodreads)
4.5 / 5 Stars

So good!

Wasn't sure at first - the 5 person narrative formatting took a little bit getting used to. We get full narration from Tricia, Emerson and Brain but poetry from Angie and screenplay format from Brenda. For this reason, Tricia, Emerson and Brian felt the most developed. Comparatively Angie came off as shallow and Brenda just seemed like a hot mess because screenplay format is not my thing!

Regardless of the format, the stories these characters have to tell are tremendous. Big on feeling, big on drama, big on history, big all over! Each character's life was so detailed but nothing felt overdone. We're getting a small snapshot of their lives, but in the end they all felt like long time friends.

But.

Sometimes your friends can be annoying.

Gotta say, for me, Tricia is that friend.

She starts the book, and she has a connection to so many of the other characters that she really dominates the story. And I didn't like her. And I didn't like where her story went and how other characters where involved in it.

She's going through something horrible, and she spends a lot of time feeling sorry for herself and it's not really her fault - it's all tied into her grief. But still...I didn't enjoy her narrative as much and I found myself not really caring what happened to her and the romance surrounding her past, present and future wasn't likable.

Still.

I was pretty blown away by the story as a whole. The way everything fit together, the format, the setting, the individual stories - it all worked for me. Tricia didn't work for me but Hello? is more then the story of 1 person. It's more then the story of 5 people. Broken up into pieces, or all together as a whole, this is a powerful story and a fantastic ya contemporary.

Highly recommended!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Review: The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

Genre: YA Paranormal Horror
Publication: February 2015 by Simon Pulse
Acquisition: read for free on PulseIt.com

Synopsis:
The fact that neither of her parents wants to deal with her is nothing new to Penny. She’s used to being discussed like a problem, a problem her mother has finally passed on to her father. What she hasn’t gotten used to is her stepmother…especially when she finds out that she’ll have to spend the summer with April in the remote woods of Washington to restore a broken-down old house.

Set deep in a dense forest, the old Carver House is filled with abandoned antique furniture, rich architectural details, and its own chilling past. The only respite Penny can find away from April’s renovations is in Miller, the young guy who runs the local general store. He’s her only chance at a normal, and enjoyable, summer.

But Miller has his own connection to the Carver House, and it’s one that goes beyond the mysterious tapping Penny hears at her window, the handprints she finds smudging the glass panes, and the visions of children who beckon Penny to follow them into the dark woods. Miller’s past just might threaten to become the terror of Penny’s future….
(from Goodreads)

3.5 / 5 Stars


A 'meh' read for me. I was hoping to be a bit more scared. Not like,' can't sleep clowns will eat me' scared but maybe 'jump into bed really quick after shutting the lights off' scared.

I think I hit 'oh hells no, never would I ever go into that dark scary forest by myself' scared but in the end it wasn't as satisfying as I would have liked.

I think I'm overly critical of horror stories in general and The Bargaining just didn't wow me. I do think others would enjoy it more though.

There are a lot of classic elements here - creepy house in the woods no one wants to talk about, small town full of secrets, dangerous boogie men hiding around every corner -- they all really worked well together too.

With The Bargaining, it's more about the journey not the the destination. My issues revolved around expecting the story to lead somewhere specific. There weren't any aha moments but I kept waiting for them. This took away from the overall tale for me but it was my fault as I had the wrong expectations going in.

Spooky at times but not overwhelming. Horror but not has horrific as I was expecting. Still - a good book I encourage you to try for yourself if ya horror and mystery is your thing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Book Review: Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

Genre: YA Historical Horror

Publication: September 2015 by Harlequin Teen
Acquisition: Received a free ebook for review via NetGalley

Synopsis:
When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.

When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.
(from Goodreads)

5 / 5 Stars

Did you look at that cover?!

Yeah, that's pretty much how the entire book feels.

Creepy and dark and like there is something just out of reach that you're not quite sure you want to be reaching for.

I pretty much loved every page.

It's a story that stays with you and it's a true horror story. Nothing sugar coated, no easy or neat answers and no happy endings.

Love!

One of the things that really drew me in is how enclosed the story is. It starts out as one family in one place. They move, meet new people but it's still them, they are still alone and even though they are far from their original home, they are still in the same place.

Also, it's suspenseful and not predictable, two features that are sometimes missing from horror, especially young adult horror in my opinion.

Great characters, great horror, and a story that stays with you long after you turn the last page = ALL the great things!

Monday, November 2, 2015

October 2015 Wrap Up: The I Love Read-A-Thons and Holy Hell how did all this candy get into my house...Edition

It's November!

That means it's almost December!

That means...shut your face! It is NOT almost Christmas people - DO YOU HEAR ME!?


Ok...so I might be one of those last minute holiday EVERYTHING people. I'm pretty old and set in my ways so I don't see that changing anytime soon - might as well embrace it right?

Good thing I have ALL THIS CANDY to sooth me.

There's the: bought for trick-or-treaters but really some of it is for me candy
There's the: from my wonderful #OTSPSecretSister candy
There's the: daughter who trick-or-treated the hell out of the entire neighborhood candy
There's the: oops, forgot about that pile of candy candy

Basically there is candy everywhere and while I'm all perfect parent "No, honey no candy tonight" I'm also all "Is she asleep yet? Will she hear me rip open this Snickers and shove it in my face?"

Yeah - I gotta say I have a love / hate relationship with October.

One thing (new to me!) that I did absolutely love was the 24 Hour Dewey Read-A-Thon! Totally a last minute join in on my part and I didn't make it through all 24 hours but I did get a ton read AND it kicked my reading into high gear for the rest of the month!

Linking it up over at Feed Your Fiction Addiction!

Let's see what I got up to last month!

THE REVIEWS
Undertow by Michael Buckley - REVIEW | 5/5 Stars
Dark Metropolic by Jaclyn Dolamore - REVIEW | 5/5 Stars
Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall - REVIEW | 5/5 Stars

These SHallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly - REVIEW | 4/5 Stars
The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow and David Ostow- REVIEW | 3/5 Stars
Cress by Marissa Meyer - REVIEW | 5/5 Stars


OCTOBER READS
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
George by Alex Gino
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
You're Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day
Cress by Marissa Meyer

All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Nirvana by J.R. Stewart

Hope everyone had a great
October!
Happy Reading!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Book #3 in The Lunar Chronicles
Genre: YA Fantasy Sci-fi Fairy tale
Publication: February 2014 from Feiwel and Friends
Acquisition: received a free ARC from the publisher

Synopsis:
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
(from Goodreads)
5 / 5 Stars


This was re-read for me but I never posted my review the first time around. (*bad Emily*)

The short and sweet version -- if you read books 1 and 2 I can't imagine any scenario in which you wouldn't also read book 3. It is so ridiculously easy to fall in love with these characters. If you haven't started this series yet -- what are you waiting for? Do it!

Seriously, this is a good series.

Everything I loved about books 1 and 2 were amplified in book 3. I think it's because we pretty much get to see all the characters - both interacting with each other and on their own. There are many point of views in this book and I know that can be off putting to some but I personally love it.

The story gets more complex but doesn't loose itself. The characters are tried and true but far from boring. The tension is intense but not overwhelming.

I love all of it.

And you should to ;)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Review: The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow and David Ostow

Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery
Publication: October 2015 by Soho Teen
Acquisition: read a free eARC via Edelweiss

Synopsis:
Winnie Flynn doesn’t believe in ghosts. (Though she wouldn’t mind a visit from her mom, explaining why she took her own life.) When her mysterious aunt Maggie, a high-profile TV producer, recruits Winnie to spend a summer working as a production assistant on her current reality hit, Fantastic, Fearsome, she suddenly finds herself in the one place her mother would never go: New Jersey.

New Jersey’s famous Devil makes perfect fodder for Maggie’s show. But as the filming progresses, Winnie sees and hears things that make her think that the Devil might not be totally fake after all. Things that involve her and her family. Things about her mother’s death that might explain why she’s never met Aunt Maggie until now.

Winnie soon discovers her family’s history is deeply entwined with the Devil’s. If she’s going to make it out of the Pine Barrens alive, she might have to start believing in what her aunt is telling her. And, find out what she isn’t.
(from Goodreads)
3 / 5 Stars


Didn't love this one.

I never connected with Winnie. I didn't understand they way she thought at all which was surprising given the 1st person narrative. I guess the whole story was really a long letter to her best friend...but it didn't really work for me.

The actual mystery...or maybe there were 2? It was a little hard to keep track of and nothing really fit together.

I did like the idea of the story - skeptic young girl thrown into a paranormal lifestyle while trying to resolve her mother's death discovers more then she bargained for. But Winnie as a character? No idea what she was actually thinking (even when she says what she was thinking it was still kinda confusing). Oh - and don't get me started on her aunt and her famous reality show...who hires teenagers, amateurs and family members who don't believe in anything you do to run your show?

Lots of unbelievable bits that had nothing to do with the supernatural. Oh - and the supernatural part(s)? Way out there - and not really in a good way.

So yeah, not the best read for me.

It wasn't all a wash though.

I was draw into the story and even if I didn't feel connected to any of the characters, I still wanted to know what happened to them. I didn't like the ending but it kinda fit with the story...maybe?

This is for sure a 'not for me but maybe for you' book. I felt disconnected to it all but I think you might see things differently.

If you enjoy light ya paranormal stories with mild (actually believable) romance and weird family dynamics or if you're a fan of the Jersey Devil (because it plays a huge part in the story!) I would encourage you to give this one a try.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Book Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Genre: YA Historical Mystery
Publication: October 27, 2015 by Random House Delacorte
Acquisition: read a free eARC via NetGalley

Synopsis:
Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.
(from Goodreads)
4 / 5 Stars

This is a good book and I really wasn't sure it was going to be. Me = pleasantly, happily, surprised.

Reasons I was worried:

1. Josephine was going to be a snooty self absorbed rich girl I would have a hard time relating to
2. Everyone would be a stereotype (rich / poor - well breed / working class trash - proper ladies / dashing young gentlemen)
3. The mystery would be predictable
4. The setting would get boring

I WAS WRONG ABOUT ALL OF THESE THINGS!

So yes, Josephine is a rich, well breed proper lady whose has a seemingly predictable mystery thrust into her life and must navigate through it in the set in its ways gilded age of NYC.

BUT!

It was so easy and downright fun relating to Josephine. She's knows her place in her world and in her family but it doesn't stop her from listening to and following her heart.

The characters didn't feel like stereotypes - more like true representations of people from this time period which duh, I'm sure it what Donnelly was going for but yes, I was still worried it wasn't going to work.

The mystery was...ok...it was predictable - but not in the ways I thought it would be. There were a lot of layers and details that I wasn't expecting.

New York City's gilded age, while diverse, if portrayed through the wrong light, could get tedious to read about. Not so in These Shallow Graves. A lot of different places, cultures and people were incorporated into the story in very real ways. It was never boring.

So really, there is only 1 thing that brought this down to a 4 start read.

It was the ending.

I didn't like it.

I mean, the outcome of it all? It was good...not great and not really what I would have wanted but it was ok.

But the details? So many coincidences and a lot of it felt rushed. I could see how all the pieces fit together...it just didn't feel very believable.

In the end though - a pretty good read and one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.




Thursday, October 22, 2015

All the Wishes Fit to Print: October Edition part 2

Some more tasty treats added to my wishlist recently.

What made it to your list this month?

Salt by Danielle Ellison
January 2014 by Entangled Teen

Another one I missed due to my reading slump. This one has witches and demons and I can't wait to read it.
Goodreads



Hello? by Liza M. Wiemer
November 10, 2015 by Spencer Hill Contemporary

Two wishlists in a row with contempoaries on them...so unlike me. Couldn't pass this one up though - loving the 5 person narrative aspect.
Goodreads



Harmony House by Nic Sheff
March 22, 2015 by Harper Teen

Evil house with mysterious past ensnares salvation seeking teen? I'm in!
Goodreads



Glittering Shadows (Dark Metropolis #2) by Jaclyn Dolamore
June 2015 from Disney-Hyperion

Loved book 1 (my review) and totally forgot there even was a book 2 until now! If you like YA with extreamly well written magic - this series is for you!
Goodreads

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Book Review: Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication: October 20, 2015 by Swoon Reads
Acquisition: Won an ARC from a fellow blogger

Synopsis:
The author of A Little Something Different brings you the most adorkable romance ever.

Jane, a superstitious fangirl, takes an anonymous babysitting job to avoid an unpaid internship with her college-obsessed mom. The only problem? She’s babysitting the siblings of her childhood friend and new crush, Teo.

Teo doesn’t dislike Jane, but his best friend Ravi hates her, and is determined to keep them apart. So Teo’s pretty sure his plans for a peaceful summer are shot. His only hope is that his intermittent search for his birth father will finally pan out and he’ll find a new, less awkward home. Meanwhile, at Jane’s house, her sister Margo wants to come out as bisexual, but she’s terrified of how her parents will react.

In a summer filled with secrets and questions, even Jane’s Magic 8 ball can’t give them clear answers, but Signs Point to Yes.
(from Goodreads)

5 / 5 Stars

It's so unlike me to give a 5 star review to a romantic contemporary young adult novel. Why? Mainly because I just don't read them and when I do I'm usually unsatisfied.

This book though? It was good! Like really good!

I love Jane and I love Teo and I even grew to love Ravi (especially after I found out why he hates Jane so much - ha!).

These characters are real people. They aren't whinny, rediculous, pie in the sky versions of teenagers. And OMG yes! They are totally adorkable!

There's a lot of heart in this story and not just from the romance. BUT the romance was so nice! It wasn't insta love or overbearing and there weren't any cray cray reactions (or overreactions) and it all just felt very real and very fun and very very enjoyable to read.

Signs Point to Yes is on my very short list of YA contemps that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. (I even added Sandy Hall's first novel A Little Something Different to my wishlist!)

It's fun to read out my comfort zone every once in a while - I'm so glad I gave this one a try!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Book Review: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

Book #1 of the Dark Metropolis Series
Genre: YA Fantasy / Paranormal
Publication: June 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
Acquisition: Bought

Synopsis:
Cabaret meets Cassandra Clare-a haunting magical thriller set in a riveting 1930s-esque world.

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don't always seem to stay that way.
(from Goodreads)

5 / 5 Stars


Love!

Jaclyn Dolamore is one of my always read authors. Any books she writes - I'll read and I'll love it. I KNOW I'll love it because she is awesome :)

Dark Metropolis has a lot of elements that really apeal to me. A slightly off kilter historical aspect, magic, mystery, secrets, the dark underbelly of normal life - I love it all!

There are a lot of layers to this book and it all really worked together to draw me into the story. Very hard to put down at times.

Magic done the right way in my opinion. It always seems to me that Dolamore really understands how magic could work...if it were real.

and...

While reading Dark Metropolis, I felt like magic was real. And it was fabulous and horrifying and indicative of human nature in a very easy to visualize way that left me never wanting to leave this world she created.

Anyone who enjoys a good magical story will love this book.

Recommend to everyone? Hell yeah!

(p.s. -- for some reason I totally forgot this was book 1 and now I'm so super excited because book 2 is out and I can't wait to read the hell out of it! woo hoo!)


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dewey's Readathon - Woo hoo!


I'm doing it!

Ok - I'm attempting to do it!

Never participated in a readathon like this before.

24 hours of READING

*bliss*

Click the pic for Dewey's page.

Doubt I'll be able to make it through to tomorrow morning - and I didn't actually decide to participate until this morning...but...it's all in good fun because reading is awesome :)

No official list of books I'm looking to get through today, but I'll add them below as I get them read.

Who's excited?

I'm excited?

:)

Happy Reading everyone!

**UPDATE**
It's a little after 8pm and I've been having a blast reading ALL DAY! I didn't set any goals for myself which has been fabulous.
Pretty sure I can keep this up a few more hours.

**UPDATE**
I made it to about 1:30 - I was going to stay up later but I actually felt pretty much 'done' with reading for the day.

A fabulous day! Can't wait to participate again in April - hopefully with more planning!

BOOKS READ:
The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins
Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
Amulet Book 2: The Stonekeeper's Curse by Kazu Kibuishi
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
The Truth about Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
You're Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day

Thursday, October 15, 2015

All the Wishes Fit to Print: October Edition

Some tasty treats added to my wishlist recently.

What made it to your list this month?

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
August 2014 by Swoon Reads

Ok - contemporary romance is pretty much NEVER on my wishlist but after reading Hall's second book Signs Point to Yes and pretty much loving it I had to add this one!
Goodreads



Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
October 20, 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

I am so late to the party on this one! Everyone is talking about it and it looks like for good reasons as it sounds fabulous!
Goodreads



Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
October 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books

I still haven't read Wong's John Dies at the End series but I couldn't help but add this one. I'm kinda addicted to Cracked.com and since Wong is the executive editor it's been blasted all over the site all month. Drinking the cool aid and giving it a shot!
Goodreads


Follow Me Through Darkness by Danielle Ellison
October 2014 by Spencer Hill Press

Danielle's a fabulous person and an awesome writer and unfortunatly, her first novel was published during my reading slump (which sucked so much!) and I missed it! I can't wait to get a copy in my hot little hands now!
Goodreads

Monday, October 12, 2015

Book Review: Undertow by Michael Buckley

Book #1 of the Undertow Series
Genre: YA Fantasy Sci-Fi
Publication: May 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Acquisition: Bought

Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s only hope of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

Action, suspense, and romance whirlpool dangerously in this cinematic saga, a blend of District 9 and The Outsiders.
(from Goodreads)

5 / 5 Stars

I've been a Buckley fan ever since I devoured his Sisters Grimm series and I have to say, I was a little worried about Undertow, being his first YA book and all. Happy to report my fears were unjustified because this book rocked!

I really like this book. Like, I like like it. Like if this book and I went to middle school together and it wrote me a note that said "Do you like me? Check Yes, No or Maybe" I would use the biggest red marker I could find and check the hell out of that "Yes" box and draw hearts all over it before handing it back.

Undertow is part mystery, part adventure, part romance.

And it's weird!

And it all really works together.

You know how we, as the advanced, sophisticated humans we like to think our selves to be, have only explored less then 10% of the ocean? Ever wonder what might be in that other 90% or so percent? I'm pretty sure Buckley did and what he came up with was pretty freaken awesome.

Somewhere in that vast sea of the unknown, live the Alpha. They are angry, rough, ugly, totally unapologetic and harder then anything to understand ocean-dwelling warriors. Or rather, they were ocean-dwelling. For reasons that are pretty explosively reveled as the book progresses, they have left their ocean homes and taken up residence on Coney Island.

If this series isn't on your wishlist, it should be. It's a YA book without a lot of the stuff that I tend to not like about YA and all of the stuff that makes YA so great.

Monday, October 5, 2015

September 2015 Wrap Up: The I'm a Broken Record and a Total Cliche Edition

Hey guys!

Guess what?

"I can't believe it's already October."

"Last month flew by so fast."

"It feels like summer just started"

*sigh*

Yeah -- all of that.

BUT!

It totally feels like Fall here in New England and it's fabulous! Apple Cider and pumpkins and comfy socks and cozy blankets -- I freaken love it all!

Anyone else love this time of year as much as I do? :)

Now - onto the books!

Linking up again over at Feed Your Fiction Addiction :)
(so sorry for leaving out "Fiction" in my mention / link last month!)

THE REVIEWS
Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs - REVIEW | 3.5 /5 Stars
The Body Electric by Beth Revis - REVIEW | 2 /5 Stars
The Lost Girl by R.L. Stine - REVIEW | 5 /5 Stars
The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble - REVIEW | 2.5 /5 Stars
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - REVIEW | 5 /5 Stars

SEPTEMBER READS
The Lost Girl by R.L. Stine
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow and David Ostow
Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall
Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince


Hope everyone had a great September!
Happy Reading!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book Re-Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

As part of The Lunar Chronicles Read Along (#TLCReadAlong) hosted by Brittany at The Book Addict's Guide, I re-read Cinder in August, and Scarlet this past month.

My re-review of Cinder can be found here.

In the same fashion, I've pulled up my first review of Scarlet, which posted in February 2013, and added in my (new) thoughts.

I don't often re-read book, so this was a bit of a treat for me!

How often do you guys re-read books?
Do you find that your feelings change after a second read?

Let's see how my 2013 thoughts compare to today's!

Book #2 of the Lunar Chronicles

Genre: YA Sci-fi Fantasy Fairy Tale
Publication: February 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
Acquisition: received an ARC for review from the publisher

Synopsis:
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
(from Goodreads)

5 / 5 Stars
(Still a 5 star read!)

Intense and overwhelming LOVE!
(Yep! I sill love it!)

OMG this was a good book!
(Yep again!)

The combination of sci-fi, fantasy and fairy tale retelling that made Cinder such a great read is no less fantastic in Scarlet.
(Not many books can pull off this trifecta of awesome. Scarlet does it with style.)

After leaving Cinder in a less then desirable situation at the end of book 1, I was really curious as to where she would find herself next. And I really wanted to know what was up with those Lunars!
(Ug! Lunars are the worst!)

I love the relationships in this book - and not just the romantic kind. All the characters in this world are so varied and different and the connections are just as different and complex.
(This is still the main reason I love this series so much. There are romantic relationships but they are done well AND the platonic relationships are awesome - I particularly love how Cinder and Thorne interact with each other.)

With the introduction of a new set a characters and the fabulous way Meyer meshed them together with my old favorites, Scarlet was a fantastic read for me.
I could go on and on with reasons why I loved this book but I don't want to give too much away.
If you read Cinder, Scarlet is a must read. And if you haven't started this series I highly recommend you do! Don't let the premise crazy you off. Marissa has weaved a magical world full of cyborgs, androids and fairy tales that does not disappoint!
(All of this - still true. Years later, I still recommend this series! It's one of my all time favorites.)

So, again, I'm gonna say:
Still all the same happy wonderful feelings!

After 2 months I'm still having a blast with this read along. I love the way Brittany formatted the read along - where we are all reading 1 book in the series a month, leading up to the release of the final book Winter. There is even time to get the companion novel, Fairest read between books 3 and 4.

I'm even going to go the extra mile and get all the mini in between short stories read - because I love this world so much so why not!

What do you guys think about read alongs?
How about re-reads?
I was never much fond of either but I'm loving the combo :)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Book Review: The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble

Book #1 of the The Sweet Dead Life Series
Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery
Publication: May 2013 by Soho Teen
Acquisition: Received an ARC at BEA 2012

Synopsis:
I found out two things today. One, I think I’m dying. And two, my brother is a perv.

So begins the diary of 14-year-old Jenna Samuels, who is having a very bad eighth-grade year. Her single mother spends all day in bed. Dad vanished when she was eight. Her 16-year-old brother, Casey, tries to hold together what’s left of the family by working two after-school jobs— difficult, as he’s stoned all the time. To make matters worse, Jenna is sick. When she collapses one day, Casey tries to race her to the hospital in their beat-up Prius and crashes instead.

Jenna wakes up in the ER to find Casey beside her. Beatified. Literally. The flab and zits? Gone. Before long, Jenna figures out that Casey didn’t survive the accident at all. He’s an “A-word.” (She can’t bring herself to utter the truth.) Soon they discover that Jenna isn’t just dying: she’s being poisoned. And Casey has been sent back to help solve the mystery that not only holds the key to her survival, but also to their mother’s mysterious depression and father’s disappearance.
(from Goodreads)

2.5 / 5 Stars

This one was...weird? I don't even know.

I'm gonna have to say I didn't really like it much.

I wanted to like it and I did enjoy parts but once the nitty-gritty story really got going I found myself rolling my eyes more and more.

The story is implausible. And yes, I understand that almost ALL books with even a hint of the paranormal could be implausible.

With The Sweet Dead Life, it was the non-paranormal stuff I just couldn't get my head around. Family dynamics, character motivations, plot...it was all a little thin to me.

The format of chapters as diary entries threw me off too since I'm not a fan of this style unless it's done in a particular way.

There was also a big case of the MC Jenna's inability of realizing that A+B=C. It took her way too long to figure things out. Maybe it's because she's only 14? But then, her voice was much older and sometimes it wasn't young enough...if that makes any sense.

Overall, not a horrible book - but for me - the elements I didn't like outweighed the elements I did.

Wouldn't flat out not recommend this one as I do think it's another case of the 'not for me but maybe for you'....with perhaps more emphasis on that 'maybe'.

If you read it let me know what you think!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

All the Wishes Fit to Print: September Edition

Hello Lovelies!

Getting right to it -- here are some books I've added to my wishlist lately.

Share yours below!

The Rule of Mirrors (The Vault of Dreamers #2) by Carah M. O'Brien
February 16, 2016 by Roaring Brook Press

Didn't love love love book 1 (my review) but unanswered questions need answers.
Goodreads



Need by Joelle Charbonneau
November 3, 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Creepy YA thriller with social media as the 'bad guy' - sounds pretty good!
Goodreads




Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
October 20, 2015 by Tor Books

Valente's first adult novel - a 'decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery' -- YES PLEASE!
Goodreads




A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz
August 2015 by Chronicle Books

Reviews are all over the place on this one. It's been described as 'weird' and I'm all for that.
Goodreads




The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
August 2015 by Corgi Childrens

I'm totally late to the part on this one and I'm pretty sure I'm buying it the next chance I get!
Goodreads

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review: The Lost Girl by R.L. Stine

Book #3 of the Fear Street Relaunch
Genre: YA Horror
Publication: September 29, 2015 by St. Martin's Press
Acquisition: received a free copy via NetGalley

Synopsis:
Generations of children and teens have grown up on R.L. Stine's bestselling and hugely popular horror series, Fear Street and Goosebumps. Now, the Fear Street series is back with a chilling new installment, packed with pure nightmare fodder that will scare Stine's avid fan base of teen readers and adults.

New student Lizzy Palmer is the talk of Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper befriend her, but the closer they get to her, the stranger she seems… and the more attractive she is to Michael. He invites her to join him on a snowmobile race that ends in a tragic accident. Soon, Michael's friends start being murdered, and Pepper becomes convinced that Lizzy is behind the killings. But to her total shock, she and Michael are drawn into a tragic story of an unthinkable betrayal committed over 60 years ago. Frightening and tense in the way that only this master of horror can deliver, The Lost Girl is another terrifying Fear Street novel by the king of juvenile horror.
(from Goodreads)

5 / 5 Stars


R.L. Stine = half of my favorite childhood reading memories (the other half belong to Christopher Pike).

I pretty much love everything about his stories. Some might call his horror campy - and maybe it is a little - but it is in no way a cheep thrill. The creep factor in all his books is pretty high and The Lost Girl is no exception.

Taking place in 2 different times, the story progresses through a series of horrible acts which culminate in a breaking point of good vs evil. Who wins? Good of course ;)

Just kidding - no happy endings here. And not just the typical, they all die in the end unhappy endings. It's the lingering effects that really make the story. The unwritten dot, dot, dot at the end of the last sentence.

It's the implied horror as much as the explicitly stated horror that really gets under my skin. And I love it!

While listed as the Fear Street Relaunch #3, as in previous installments of Fear Street, it can be read as a standalone. I actually didn't know there were other recently published Fear Street novels! Guess what got added to my wishlist?

If you love Stine, you'll love The Lost Girl. If horror isn't your thing, you might not enjoy this one. If you're looking for a good thrill - defiantly pick this one up!



Monday, September 21, 2015

Book Review: The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi, Futuristic
Publication: October 2014 by Scripturient Books (self published)
Acquisition: Bought a Kindle ebook

Synopsis:
The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?
(from Goodreads)

2 / 5 Stars

Straight up honest.

I didn't like this book.

Main reason? There wasn't a whole lot of sense making going on. The science, the details, the plot - throughout the book and then explosively at the end, none of it made sense.

I don't usually read self published novels because I don't tend to enjoy them. It's Beth Revis though so I still wanted to give it a chance. Unfortunatly, The Body Electric wasn't an exception to my - 'you're not going to like this one' rule.

However, I'm somewhat in the minority here so I'm even more skeptical as to why.

Skepticism aside - even without my potentially self-published bias - I don't believe I would have enjoyed this book.

I did like the imagery, and the futuristic aspect. However, the fact that it takes place in the same world as Across the Universe coolness was lost on me as I almost missed the throwaway line connecting the two and on my own, I wouldn't have found the connection at all.

Ga!
But what really really didn't work for me were the inconsistencies. BIG ones.

Not, blue eyes on one page and brown on another (although this would be extremely irritating it would not, overall be detrimental to the story or plot).

The inconsistencies here though? Not overlookable (new word).

No spoilers but here is an example:

A major element to the story, and to the world and lives of the characters in it is explained early on. Matter of fact explanation. Good to go - moving on.

Later in the book - this element? It's different. It's actually the exact opposite of what it was explained to be. And not in a plot twist way. Not in a oh my god someone is messing with things and we're figuring it all out now! No - more like a, on page 1 the sky is blue and on page 50 the sky is magenta polka dots and of course it is because it needs to be for everything else to make sense -- duh!

Ok - maybe not a very good example but hopefully you get what I'm trying to say.

There are other things too -- the synopsis (it's not accurate), the plot (it has a lot of holes), the 'bad guy' (very much the villain holding the heroes over a pit of fiery lava who instead of actually dropping them in the fiery lava and ensuring victory, decide to wax poetically about all the reasons behind all the things and all the plans and all the badness and oh look the heroes escaped).

There were parts of this book I really did enjoy - just not enough of them.

While things didn't fit for me - maybe they would for you? (Seriously, take a look at other reviews on Goodreads and the like). It's hard for me to actually recommend this one but, we are all unique snowflakes and maybe my extreme dissatisfaction would be your most favorite thing ever.

I'm VERY interested in hearing what you thought of this one! If you've read it, leave a comment, tweet me, etc.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Book Review: Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs

Book #1 of The Hero Agenda Series
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication: June 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
Acquisition: Won an ARC

Synopsis:
Kenna is tired of being "normal". The only thing special about her is that she isn't special at all. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary— which she hates.

She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust.. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.
(from Goodreads)

3.5 / 5 Stars


I've got a thing for heroes and villains and it's not a theme I often come across in YA books so this one was a pretty good read for me. The world these characters live in is both fascinating and terrifying - much like I would imagine a world were say, the Avengers or Batman where real. Not a place I would actually want to live, but defiantly a world I can get happily lost in for a while.

Also - action. There is a lot of it and I liked that. Not much down time - everything is go go go. Not very realistic but it's very much how I envision a real life superhero's (or supervillian's) life to be like.

So why wasn't this a 5 star read for me?

Well, as much as I did like Kenna I didn't love the 'normal girl' is really the most special girl every thing. And the fact that she is powerless is mentioned...a lot. Kenna's inner monologue is a whole lotta insecurities. I was like - I get it! You're not special! Get over yourself! Except...the story was a little predictable so...I kinda figured out that maybe she was important? You know? Not giving anything away here but...you can see where this is going right?

And, well, the romance. Not every YA books needs a romance. Sometimes it's awesome though and sometimes it's horrible. Sometimes it's just meh and the story could stand on it's own without it and that's how I felt about Powerless.

So yeah - lots of mixed around feelings with this one.

However - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. The hero / villain aspect and how it's totally integrated into the world is pretty unique and makes for a really good story.

I'm not sure I'll be picking up book 2 but like I said - I do recommend you try this one out for yourself!

Monday, September 7, 2015

August 2015 Wrap Up: The What the Hell Do You Mean It's September Edition

Ga!

It's September.

Summer is oooo-va!

And it's still freaken hot.

Where is my deliciously brisk and wonderful Fall weather?

Hmmm?

Oh - and yes, there was still sweat. Icky sticky icky ick sweat.

Hey, you know what's better then all these things?

BOOKS!

Woo hoo!

Let's see what I was up to this month.

Linking it up over at Feed Your Addiction again cause I'm cool like that :)


THE REVIEWS







The Vault of Dreamers by Carah M. O'Brien - REVIEW | 3.5/5 Stars
Murwood Graphic Novel by Jeff Wheeler - REVIEW | 3.5/5 Stars
Glitch by Brenda Pandos - REVIEW | 4/5 Stars
Killer Instinct by S.E. Green - REVIEW | 5/5 Stars
The Sculptor by Scott McCloud - REVIEW | 3.5/5 Stars
Cinder by Marissa Meyer - RE-REVIEW | 5/5 Stars


AUGUST READS - BOOKS
The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (re-read)
Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Thomas Sweterlitsch
Amity by Micol Ostow

AUGUST READS - COMICS
Muirwood: The Lost Abbey #1
Doctor Who The Ninth Doctor #2
Jem #3
Jem #4
Jem #5

AUGUST READS - COMICS (Bound Vols)
Captain Marvel Vol 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More
Ms. Marvel Vol 3: Crushed
Batman / Superman Vol 1: Cross Worlds

AUGUST READS - GRAPHIC NOVELS
The Good Neighbors Book Two: Kith by Holly Black
The Good Neighbors Book Three: Kind by Holly Black
The Bad Doctor by Ian Williams


Hope everyone had a fabulous August!

Happy Reading!