Book Haul

May is getting closer to being done but there’s still so many books to come out. There’s times when I think I should wait to buy the new books until I lessen my TBR pile(like I said I would do) but then comes the fear of not having the money when I am ready to buy the books. If I have the money now, why wouldn’t I buy the books now, even if they sit on my shelf for a while. At least then I know they’re mine. Right?

Bought:

isle of the lostmade you upRook

Isle of the Lost – Melissa de la Cruz. I couldn’t resist this one after watching the movie trailer. It looks like so much fun and one that’ll be passed along to a lot of kids in the family.

Made You Up – Francesca Zappia. I had an arc of this book and loved it so much I wanted it in hard cover.

Rook – Sharon Cameron. I love the cover on this one and it was one of my picks for Waiting on Wednesday a while back.

ARCs:

step toward fallingdumplinwhite rose

A Step Toward Falling – Cammie McGovern. I really liked her first book, Say What You Will, and I can’t wait to see where this one goes. I already have theories.

Dumplin’ – Julie Murphy. This one makes me a little nervous since I didn’t love her first book, Side Effects May Vary, and I worry that it could come across as offensive instead of empowering.

The White Rose – Amy Ewing. The sequel to The Jewel. Really excited to see what happens after that horrible cliffhanger!!!

2 Comments

Filed under book haul, books, MG books, TBR books, ya books

Book Review: A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T Smith

sense of the infinite

A Sense of the Infinite

Release date: May 19th 2015

3 stars

Annabeth and Noe have been best friends all through high school but now, in senior year, that seems to be changing. Noe’s boyfriend Steven is always around, she’s changing plans that Annabeth thought were set, she’s spending more time with other friends. Add in that Annabeth’s relationship with her mother is strained and that she’s been keeping a secret for years that she’s never really dealt with, and this year isn’t looking so great. Annabeth can’t lost Noe, her anchor, but the more Noe drifts away, the more Annabeth is forced to see herself in new ways.

This wasn’t a particularly fast paced or action packed read but it was still an interesting one. There were so many little things going on throughout the book that came together to make the plot of Annabeth’s growth in her senior year instead of it being one big event and everything branching out from that. It ended up being a very character focused book.

Annabeth was an interesting character. She met Noe when she really needed someone in her life and she clung to her and their friendship. She came across as very dependent on Noe and the idea of Noe leaving caused major anxiety. She was quiet and passive, usually letting other people act on her behalf and not arguing with whatever decisions were made for her. It was great to see her growing and realizing that she deserved a voice and her own future instead of following Noe and that she could see her friendship with Noe for what it had become instead of it being what was keeping her grounded. Even though she felt like Noe was the one growing and drifting from her, I thought it was more Annabeth was the one who was growing up.

The minor characters were more of a mix between interesting and maybe a little underdeveloped. Noe could be manipulative and selfish but then she could also be caring and sweet. In those times it was easy to see why Annabeth was so drawn to her. In the flashbacks, she seemed like a genuinely good person but in the present, she was more about herself. Steven was a lot of fun as a character. I liked his insistence that he and Annabeth become friends due to their mutual Noe association. He was someone Annabeth needed in her life. Her cousin Ava was almost the opposite of Noe. She’d been a selfish child but grew into someone Annabeth could really count on and talk to.

The book touched upon a lot of issues without going too deeply into any of them. Most of them were ones that were happening or had happened to people around Annabeth. We saw Annabeth’s reaction and a little about how the people were handling the issues but the book stayed focused on Annabeth. It was reading high school senior year through the eyes of a very relatable character.

My favourite thing about the book was the relationship between Annabeth and her mother. It was never easy or perfect for them but it was so obvious her mother only wanted what was best for Annabeth. She had gone through so much to raise her, she was concerned about the sudden plan changes, she was always present even if some things did slip past her. It was really great to see Annabeth learning just how strong a person her mother was and coming to see her in new ways.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, reviews, ya books

Comparing Before and After: Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

proof of forever

I chose this book as my WoW(hosted by Breaking the Spine) on October 29th 2014. Back then my thoughts were:

“It’s so far away! But it sounds like a great summer read that focuses more on the friendship of the girls instead of romance.”

Now that I’ve read it and reviewed it, oh the friendship feels! There was romance but it was on the light side and it was mostly about the four girls and the friendship they had lost in the last two years. And of course them trying to get back to their own time. It almost made me miss summer camp. Okay, it did make me miss it.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, comparing before and after, ya books

Book Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

fill in boyfriend

The Fill-In Boyfriend

3.5 stars

Gia’s visions of the perfect prom go up in smoke when her boyfriend Bradley dumps her in the parking lot of the school. She’s been talking him up to her friends for months and they were finally going to see that yes, he does exist. Gia’s desperate so she enlists the help of a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister. Be her fake boyfriend for two hours and she’ll owe him. She can deal with Bradley later. But it’s not Bradley she’s thinking of the next day. When mystery date’s sister enlists Gia to return the favor, be a fake girlfriend for a graduation party, Gia finds herself falling for this boy. Maybe what started out as fake could turn into something real.

This turned out to be a quick and fun book to read. It was light and had that summer read feel to it. It was the type of book that made me wish for hot sun because reading it outside would have been so perfect.

I wasn’t sure about Gia at first but she turned into a character I really grew to like. She was pretty shallow and self-absorbed at the beginning and even though Bradley pulled a jerk move right before prom, I could kind of understand why he did it. It seemed like their relationship was more about Gia and having a boyfriend than actually being in love. Gia grew throughout the book the more she started interacting with people beyond her narrow group of friends. It was like she was outgrowing their friendship and the antics that came with it. It was nice to see the growth, but also a little painful for her since she’d been friends with a couple of the girls for so long. By the end, I really liked the person Gia turned out to be.

Fill-In Boyfriend, or F-IB(read the book to find out his name:)), was a really sweet guy and I loved the dynamic of his family life. Their closeness was a sharp contrast to Gia’s own home life where no one ever really talked beyond the surface of their feelings. He was really caring and a bit geeky and I just adored him. Can he be real? I also really liked his sister Bec and the developing friendship between her and Gia was so great to see.

The book said a lot about getting your self-worth from your friends, real life friends and online friends. It was great to see Gia growing out of that and finding out who she wanted to be as a person instead of being someone she wasn’t just because her friends approved. Even in such a light read it still managed to bring up that important issue and use it for character growth.

The whole style of the book was that familiar Kasie West feeling that I love. Great characters with growth arcs, interesting family dynamics, humor, slow romance. I couldn’t put it down. The plot moved along so it never felt slow and I didn’t care that I knew what was going to happen because I was having so much fun reading it. I did connect less with Gia than I did with Charlie from On the Fence but Charlie was a lot more like me than Gia was. She was still a great character though and it was a nice read.

6 Comments

Filed under books, reviews, ya books

Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

riders

Riders

Release date: February 2nd 2016

Goodreads: For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.
Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.
They fail.
Now—bound, bloodied, and drugged—Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for—not to mention all of humankind—he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.
But will anyone believe him?

Why I’m excited: It’s Veronica Rossi!!!!! Plus this sounds like a really interesting twist on the horsemen of the apocalypse legend and possibly has edge of you seat, finger-nail biting potential.

4 Comments

Filed under books, TBR books, waiting on wednesday, WoW, ya books

Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked

You’d think with all this reading, my TBR list would be going down. But it keeps going up instead.

Currently reading: between the notes

Finished reading: roar and livguardsense of the infinitewicked will riseprince selectionextraordinary meanscrimon bound

Reviewed: proof of foreverimprobable theoryfill in boyfriend

What I’m hoping to get to next week: scarletlove fortunes to read

extraordinary meanssense of the infinite to review

What this means for my challenges:

  • Added 7 books overall: currently at 140 books read
  • Added 2 contemporary: currently at 52 books read
  • Added 1 debut author: currently at 32 books read
  • Added 2 paranormal/fantasy: currently at 66 books read
  • Added 3 dystopian: currently at 22 books read

5 Comments

Filed under books, reading recap, TBR books, ya books

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is Top Ten freebie week. I debated for a while on what to do and finally decided on Top Ten new beginnings, whether it’s a new town, new school, or a chance to do things over.

10. under the never sky big Under the Never Sky – Veronica Rossi. Aria finds herself thrown out of the only home she’s known and has to adapt to living outside of the pods she’s seen as protection her whole life. New beginning: new surroundings, new people.

9. anna big Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins. Anna is sent to boarding school. In France. She knows no one and doesn’t speak the language so she’ll have to learn fast. New beginning: new school, new country, new friends.

8. wrong side of right The Wrong Side of Right – Jenn Marie Thorne. Kate just found out who her father is. And he’s running for U.S. president. It would be hard enough to get to know him and his family under normal circumstances but with the whole country watching, Kate knows one wrong move could ruin everything. New beginning: new family.

7. reboot big Reboot – Amy Tintera. Wren died. For 178 minutes. Then she rebooted and has been trained to be a soldier. Rebooting after so long is supposed to mean she barely has human emotions but a new reboot complicates things. New beginning: new life.

6. red queen Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard. In a world where silver blood means having powers and red blood means serving the silvers, Mare has red blood. And she has a power. New beginning: new power, new surroundings.

5. proof of forever Proof of Forever – Lexa Hillyer. Four friends who drifted apart get a second chance after being transported back in time to when they were fifteen. New beginning: new views on life.

4. fangirl big Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell. Cath has always felt a connection to fictional character Simon Snow and has been a huge part of the fandom for years. Does growing up mean leaving all that behind? New beginning: new school(college), new roommate.

3. throne of glass big Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas. Celaena is a trained assassin and the crowned prince’s choice for a tournament to determine the king’s champion. New beginning: new surroundings, new ‘job’.

2. girl of fire and thorns big The Girl of Fire and Thorns – Rae Carson. Elissa is supposed to be the chosen one but she’s always felt like a failure at being great. Now she’s to be married to a king who needs her to be the chosen one. Elissa just wants to avoid dying young like so many chosen ones before her. New beginnings: new surroundings/kingdom, new authority.

1. harry potter Harry Potter – JK Rowling. Harry discovers he’s a wizard. New beginnings: new school, new powers, new obsession for me.

6 Comments

Filed under book lists, books, favorite book, top ten, ya books

Book Review: Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

proof of forever

Proof of Forever

Release date: June 2nd 2015

4 stars

Two years ago, when Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe were fifteen, they were inseparable. Now, at seventeen, they barely talk. A reunion at the summer camp they attended brings them back together and one click from the photo booth camera later, they find themselves back in time to that summer when they were fifteen. When they were all still best friends. Now they have to try to recreate that summer and the photo that was taken at the end of that year in order to, hopefully, get back to their own time.

This book was a fun read that ended up bringing back lots of memories of making friends during summer camp. It was told in alternating POVs from each of the four girls, some of them I liked right away and others took some time to grow on me, but I liked how different each of them were and it was sad to see how far they’d drifted apart in the two years.

Zoe and Joy were the ones I liked right away. With Zoe, she was a sci-fi lover and had a bubbly personality. Joy was shy and a peace-keeper. They had traits that I could easily identify with and drew me to them. Luce was a perfectionist and Tali came across as self-absorbed at first but both grew on me after they were sent back in time and more was revealed about them. Each girl had reasons for being the way they were and being forced to relive that last week of summer camp in their fifteen-year-old bodies but with their seventeen-year-old minds made for some amusing predicaments. It also made for some huge revelations for each girl.

It was fun to see the girls try to recreate the events of that summer. For the picture they were sure they needed to reproduce, Zoe needed a fencing medal, Joy needed a tiara, Tali needed a boy’s boxers, and Luce needed a certain merit badge. It was nice to see them able to enjoy themselves every now and then and remember that they were friends and camp was a fun place for them.

I thought the author juggled the multiple POVs very well. Each girl had such a distinctive voice that I was never confused as to whose chapter it was or which girl had which storyline. And each girl did have her own storyline to go along with the overall plot of trying to get back to their own time. There was definite growth in each girl throughout the book and I loved that they were realizing that growing up didn’t have to mean growing apart. I almost didn’t want them to return to their time where they could fall back into the habits that broke them apart in the first place.

This book has been called ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for the new generation’ and I can agree with that. The only thing that was a little off-putting, for me, was that there were times the girls seemed younger than the seventeen or fifteen they were supposed to be. I could get over that easily enough though since some kids act their age, some act older, and some act younger. It wasn’t a big thing and didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book at all.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

4 Comments

Filed under books, reviews, ya books

Book Talk: Tips and Tricks for Blogging/Reviewing

I am in no way an expert on either but after doing this for a few years, I’ve found certain things have come to work for me. They might not work for everyone but I figured I’d at least share what I’ve found works for me.

1. Spend some time just exploring the features your hosting site provides. It’s always good to know just what you can or can’t do.

2. Participate in some weekly memes like Top Ten Tuesdays or Waiting on Wednesdays. It’s a great way to feel like you’re a part of the book blogging community and to find out about new books or find new blogs/friends that have similar taste as you.

3. Don’t panic is you can’t post every day. Real life happens. Learning how to schedule posts is a good alternative so if you have some free time, write a bunch of posts for the future and schedule them for days you know you can’t be online.

4. Explore the blogs out there. Same as the weekly memes are a great way to find new blogs to follow and new friends, so is just exploring all the blogs that exist. A lot of blogs have a ‘blogs I follow’ feature so find some of your favourite blogs and see who they love.

5. If you request ARCs, keep some kind of record to help you keep track of which ones you got, which ones you’ve read, which ones need reviewing, the release dates, etc.

6. Don’t be afraid to say no. You’re human. Even if all you did all day was read and blog, there’s still a limit to how much you can do. If it starts to feel like a job and something you’re not enjoying, take a break. The Powers behind the ARCs are not going to punish you for being too busy or not being interesting in every book offered to you.

7. Read what you like.

Things I keep in mind while blogging/reviewing:

This section’s a little more tailored to how I blog/review and my own process.

1. There are fans of this book. I may have hated it but every book has people who enjoyed it and I don’t want to insult the people who liked it.

2. I chose to keep reading. If I wasn’t enjoying the book, I could have set it down. No one forced me to keep reading it.

3. I keep a journal close by to jot down thoughts as I read so I can refer to them later when I write my review.

4. Novellas and anthologies are a great way to keep reading during busy times. They make me feel like I’m still accomplishing something even though it may take only an hour or two to finish the story.

5. If a book is amazing, tell everybody.

3 Comments

Filed under books, reviews, talking books

Book Review: The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

improbable theory

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak

Release date: May 19th 2015

3.5 stars

Zak Duquette has been looking forward to Washingcon sci-fi fest for months. He goes every year. Except this year he’s being forced to participate in a quiz bowl tournament the same weekend as the event he loves so much. It’s not his fault that he talked a little too much about the event. It’s not his fault that he kept saying how awesome it is. It’s definitely not his fault that Ana Watson’s genius little brother Clayton left their hotel to go to Washingcon. Unless you’re Ana Watson and losing your little brother to Zak’s geekfest weekend will be the end of any kind of freedom from your strict parents. Ana has to team with Zak to find Clayton before any of the adults find out they left and, even though they think they couldn’t be more different, they just might discover they have a lot in common.

This book was a lot of fun to read. There were a lot of references I caught and some that I know I missed since they were from games or movies or shows I don’t watch, but they were still fun. It was a pretty fast-paced book and took place mostly within the weekend of Washingcon so it was an easy and fast read, though I could probably re-read it at a slower pace to make sure I catch all the references.

It was told in alternating POVs from the two main characters, Ana and Zak. I liked how different from each other they appeared to be at first. Zak seemed like a typical laid-back slacker with no real plans for the future. Ana was all about being perfect so she could have the future she wanted. It made for some instant clashing between the two and it was fun to see those negative thoughts turn into respect, friendship, and maybe something a little more. The later into the night and the more time they spent together, the more was revealed about both of their home lives and it showed why they acted the way they were. The interactions between them, both the more sassy ones and the more heartfelt ones, were part of my favourite things about this book.

The plot kept getting more and more over the top, but in a fun way. I found myself wanting to know just how far it go would while still staying within the realm of possibility. Everything that happened to Ana and Zak that night, the whole sequence of events, could seem a bit ridiculous but it was never impossible. Just highly improbable, which fit perfectly with the title. It made for a lot of entertaining laughter.

Overall, a fast but fun read that might have to be read more than once to catch all the geek-related references.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

3 Comments

Filed under books, reviews, ya books