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!!