Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top 10 Books I've Read (so far) in 2015

1 The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer
2 A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
3 I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

4 Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
5 Every Breath by Ellie Marney

6 Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
7 The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
8 Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen

9 Angelfall by Susan Ee
10 Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

The Girl at Midnight
Author: Melissa Grey
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
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The Girl at Midnight has been compared to a lot of popular YA series including City of Bones and Shadow and Bone. This made me weary about starting it. The more a book is compared to something else the more I feel skeptical of it’s originality. Luckily, The Girl at Midnight was a fun and original read that kept me turning pages.

The novel follows Echo who is living with the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers and magic. Their sworn enemies are a dragon-like race called the Drakharin. Rumor has it that an ancient being called the Firebird can put an end to the two species endless war. After a series of events Echo forms an unlikely alliance with a Drakharin and sets off in search of the firebird.

I really liked Echo. At first I had a hard time relating to her but as the book progressed she went through an excellent transformation. The character growth in this book was really phenomenal and was actually my favorite thing about this novel.

The swoons and feels were a close second favorite thing! Caius is the Drakharin that Echo forms an alliance with and they had one of those will-they-won’t-they are they even in to eachother kind of relationships. Those just so happen to be my favorite kind and I liked that this one kept me guessing!

Overall, this novel surprised me. I didn’t expect to like it nearly as much as I did and immediately upon finishing I wanted to start the sequel. I have a feeling it’s going to be a long wait for The Shadow Hour.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: All the Major Consetllations

All the Major Constellations
Author: Pratima Cranse
Publisher: Viking 
Publication Date: Novemeber 10, 2015

Laura Lettel is the most beautiful girl in the world. . . and Andrew’s not-so-secret infatuation.
Now he’s leaving high school behind and looking ahead to a fresh start at college and distance from his obsessive crush. But when a terrible accident leaves him without the companionship of his two best friends, Andrew is cast adrift and alone—until Laura unexpectedly offers him comfort, friendship, and the support of a youth group of true believers, fundamentalist Christians with problems and secrets of their own. Andrew is curiously drawn to their consuming beliefs, but why? Is it only to get closer to Laura? And is Laura genuinely interested in Andrew, or is she just trying to convert him?
This provocative and compelling debut novel will resonate deeply with readers as it explores questions of identity, sexuality, and spirituality.
My Thoughts: I haven't done a waiting on Wednesday post in ages but when I read this synopsis for All the Major Constellations I knew I had to share it! Seriously, November can not get here fast enough.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Leveller by Julia Durango

The Leveller
Author: Julia Durango
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: June 23, 2015
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The Leveller takes place in the not so distant future where everyone can enter a virtual reality world called the MEEP. The MEEP allows you to build whatever kind of world you want. It comes as no surprise that people start getting addicted to these made up worlds.

It is Nixy’s, off the books, job to enter the MEEP and drag out kids who have been gaming a little too long. When the MEEP creator’s son goes missing he hires Nixy to get Wyn back. The problem is Wyn isn’t just gaming, someone has trapped him in the MEEP and Nixy and Wyn must ban together to escape.

I really loved the setting of this novel. It begins in the real world but quickly Nixy is drawn in to Wyn’s virtual reality world. Wyn has created the 1950’s Cuba his grandmother lways told him about, complete with Ernest Hemingway. The constantly shifting MEEP setting was my favorite part of this novel. Durango really shined with her world building skills.

The romance in this novel left something to be desired. It felt too formulaic and expected. There was also a lot of slang use that it made it feel like the characters were making jokes that I wasn’t in on. It really detracted from the reading.

Overall, despite my few issues with the novel The Leveller was a quick, fast paced, read with a fun premise. I liked the ever shifting setting and the MEEP. I think there is a lot of promise in this new series!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen

Lion Heart
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 19, 2105
Goodreads ♥ Amazon ♥ BookOutlet

Oh this Trilogy! I didn’t even know how to write this review. I finished Lion Heart and I didn’t know how to put my opinion in to words. I was so sad to see this series end ­on one hand and on the other I thought that this novel was the least strong in the series.

Lion Heart begins with Scarlet’s imprisonment by Prince John. She has been locked away for months and after she escapes she reunites with her Grandmother, rather than Rob, to figure out Prince John’s next move. This is the crux of what I didn’t like about this book. My favorite thing about Scarlet and Lady Thief were the interactions, and camaraderie, between Scarlet and Rob and in Lion Heart there was less of that.

Still, my love for Scarlet knows no bounds! She is the kind of female character I like to see in YA. Scarlet is fierce, independent, loyal, and despite the odds being stacked against her she still perseveres and doesn’t compromise her own morals to reach her goals.

My favorite thing about this novel was all the swoons. Scarlet & Rob are a couple you can’t help rooting for and they kept me guessing in this novel. They love each other that much is clear, but they definitely kept me on my toes wondering if they were going to be able to stay together or if Prince John, and Nottingham, was going to tear them apart.

Overall, I loved this series. If you haven’t read it yet I seriously suggest a binge read! Although Lion Heart was my least favorite installment it was still one of my favorite reads so far in 2015.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Top 10 Books On My Summer Reading List

1 The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
2 Joyride by Anna Banks
3 Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius

4 The Elite by Kiera Cass
5 Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines 

6 Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
7  Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
8 Paradise City by CJ Duggan

9 Forever & Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
10 Our Brothers at the Bottom of the Bottom of the Sea by Johnathan Kranz

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Stacking The Shelves 143

Friday, June 12, 2015

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

Charlie, Presumed Dead
Author: Anne Heltzel
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Goodreads ♥ Amazon BookOutlet

I went in to Charlie, Presumed Dead expecting to be wowed and amazed. In this post Gone Girl era of mystery books it feels like each plot is getting more and more fantastical. Charlie, Presumed Dead fits perfectly in to this genre of psychological mystery with a heavy dose of crazy.

Charlie, Presumed Dead begins at Charlie’s funeral where Aubrey and Lena realize that they weren’t the only girl in Charlie’s life. The two set off on an improbable around the world journey to discover who Charlie truly was and what secrets he was keeping.

I had a hard time getting to know Lena & Aubrey, Charlie’s girlfriends. I kept getting them confused and forgetting details about their lives. Honestly, I understood how Charlie got the two girls confused. Despite repeatedly saying how different they are, the two girls were very similar. I also didn’t understand the girl’s motivation. Charlie cheated on them, why would they want to find him? Why did he matter so much to each of them? I wish this had been better explained.

Spoiler alert: Charlie isn’t dead. This isn’t really a spoiler though because Charlie has his own perspective written in 2nd person. Usually, I hate second person but this was truly second person done right. I really enjoyed the chapters written from Charlie’s perspective.

My favorite thing about this novel was also my least favorite thing about this book. It ends on a massive cliffhanger! I’m talking the biggest cliff I’ve seen in a long time. On top of that as part of the Charlie, Presumed Dead Blog Tour Anne Heltzel said that she originally hadn’t planned for there to be a sequel. Hopefully, she can be persuaded to write a sequel because I seriously need to know what happens next.

Overall, Charlie, Presumed Dead took me on a wild ride and at times I wasn’t sure I was enjoying it. At other times I couldn’t put the novel down. It definitely was full or twists and turns that I’m not entirely sure fit together. Still, that ending surprised me and I definitely want to read whatever Anne Heltzel writes next.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dancing With Molly by Lean Horowitz

Dancing With Molly
Author: Lena Horowitz
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Goodreads ♥ Amazon ♥ BookOutlet

Dancing With Molly was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I really enjoy introspective novels about drug use. I expected this novel to be similar to Crank by Ellen Hopkins. These types of stories have the potential to be really powerful narratives; unfortunately, Dancing With Molly missed the mark and ended up falling flat.

The novel is written in journal entries and follows the main characters introduction to Molly (MDMA), a pure form of ecstasy, and how it changes her life for better and worse. I enjoyed the journal entry format because it kept the plot moving quickly but it also only gave the reader one side of the story. The reader never learns the main characters name which bothered me more than it should have.

My biggest qualm with this novel was that sometimes it read like an after school special and other times it read like a love letter to molly. I got bored reading the same things over and over again. Each journal entry was the same: get high, listen to music, kiss random guys, hang out in the pool/hot tub. The main character must’ve only had rich friends because every house she went to had absentee parents and a pool. It didn’t feel real.

My other issue with this novel was that I only got to know the main character, and her friends, on a superficial level. Everything is glossed over and the only time the author goes in to great detail is when the characters take molly. Because of this I had a hard time caring about her friends and when something bad happened I didn’t really feel anything.

Overall, this novel had a lot of potential but it was never realized. The characters weren’t fleshed out, the plotline didn’t feel real, and I wished that there had been greater detail.