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 Covers that remind me of Fall.

10. great hunt The Great Hunt – Wendy Higgins. Maybe it’s because there’s a lot of wooded trails where I live but this cover screams Fall to me.

9. inside of out The Inside of Out – Jenn Marie Thorne. Long sleeves and layers.

8. in the after In the After – Demetria Lunetta. This one is more of a feel. I like darker books in the Fall.

7. darkest minds The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken. Same as above, orange and brown just give it a Fall feel.

6. geekerella Geekerella – Ashley Poston. The truck says pumpkin on it. My mind immediately goes to Fall.

5. anna blood Anna Dressed in Blood – Kendare Blake. Dark and paranormal, Supernatural always starts in the Fall and my brain connected these two things.

4. one-of-us-is-lying One of Us is Lying – Karen M McManus. It looks like yearbook pictures and ours always took place in the Fall.

3. walk on earth a stranger Walk on Earth a Stranger – Rae Carson. This is another one where the colours just shout Fall to me.

2. until friday night The Field Party Series – Abbi Glines. Any of these covers could work with the football field in the background.

  1. harry potter Harry Potter – JK Rowling. Fall means returning to Hogwarts.
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Book Review: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

When It's Real

When It’s Real

4 stars

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.
Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?

This book was very cute, perfect for a summer read or curling up under a blanket or in bed and just losing yourself in the characters and the plot. I do love the hate-to-love trope and I thought this book handled it very well. I loved the dynamics, not only between the two main characters, but between all of them. It was entertaining to read and very easy to completely lose myself in the story.

Vaughn was a good girl, never really in trouble, helping out at home, and when the opportunity to to pose as a teen celebrity’s girlfriend and take financial strain off her older sister came up, she had to say yes. I really liked her. She wasn’t afraid to speak up when Oakley treated her badly but, no matter how angry he could make her, she was still willing to listen to him when he opened up to her. Oakley was someone who’d had a lot of success at a young age and, while he was still young now, was in a bit of a creative drought. He needed to prove he was a serious artist to work with the best of the best and his team thought dating a ‘normal’ girl was the way to do that. I liked that there were little scenes early on to show he wasn’t just a jerk, there was a decent guy underneath his celebrity persona.

The pages really flew by, even at over 400 pages it was a quick read. I really liked seeing Oakley and Vaughn getting to know each other, getting on each other’s nerves, bickering then making up, everything they did was fun to read. Their relationship was what drove the plot so if the reader wasn’t too invested in their romance, fake or developing, they might not get as absorbed into the book as I did. I loved them and I’m very glad I have 3 of the Royals series to dive in to now that I’ve finished this one.

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Book Review: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down

Long Way Down

Release date: October 17 2017

4 stars

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES. And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

This book was a fast read and I found it to be very unique. Told from the POV of Will in the verse style, the chapters were short but very engaging. It made it very easy to say one more chapter until the book was finished. Almost the whole book took place within the length of the elevator ride from the eighth floor to the lobby and it did so without feeling like the plot was being stretched out.

Will was someone I found to be a relatable character and he had a voice that really resonated, that stayed with me long after I closed the book. He was grieving for his brother and he wanted revenge, he knew he had to follow the rules his brother taught him and as long as he could focus on that, he had a purpose. He was hurting and angry and just wanted someone to pay.

I liked seeing who was going to come on to the elevator next and what they would add to the conversation. Each person had a connection to Will, even if he didn’t know it right away, and they all gave him and the reader something to think about. Jason Reynolds could have doubled the amount of floors and stops and I’m sure I still would have loved it because the conversations were so great and important.

The verse style worked well for the subject matter. It drew attention and highlighted the parts of the conversations that ended up sticking more in my mind and it made for a quick read. I wasn’t fully prepared for just how much this short book shook me but I know I won’t be forgetting it.

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

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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:

Puddin

Puddin’

Release date: May 8th 2018

Goodreads: It is a companion novel to Dumplin’, which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean’s star turn in the Clover City pageant.
Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

Why I’m excited: I loved Dumplin’ so I can’t wait to go back into this world of Willowdean and her friends.

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Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked

I feel like this week just flew by. I hope this is a good reading week because I feel the need to lose myself in fictional worlds.

Currently reading: The Nowhere Girls

Finished reading: BurnWhen It's RealThat Inevitable Victorian ThingLong Way Down

Reviewed: NyxiaFireblood

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Rules of RainLove, Life, and the List to read

Long Way DownWhen It's Real to review

Books read it 2017: 158

Debut authors read in 2017: 37

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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 Books book boyfriends.

10. fangirl big Levi from Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell.

9. thousand pieces of you Theo from the Firebird series – Claudia Gray.

8. every last word A.J. from Every Last Word – Tamara Ireland Stone.

7. chasing impossible Logan from the Pushing the Limits series – Katie McGarry.

6. sweet evil Kaiden Rowe from the Sweet trilogy – Wendy Higgins.

5. by-your-side Dax from By Your Side – Kasie West.

4. start of me and you Max from The Start of Me and You – Emery Lord.

3. under the never sky big Roar from the Under the Never Sky series – Veronica Rossi.

2. Anne Gilbert Blythe  from the Anne of Green Gables series – LM Montgomery.

  1. vampire academy big Christian Ozera from the Vampire Academy series – Richelle Mead.

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Book Review: Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Nyxia

Nyxia

Release date: September 12th 2017

4.5 stars

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.
Forever.
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

This book caught me by surprise. I wasn’t too sure about the premise when I picked it up but once I started reading it, I was completely sucked in by the story and the characters. It felt like every time the teens started to get comfortable, something else was thrown at them, and at the readers. It was fast-paced, which made for a quick read, and when I was finished, I really, really wanted the next book.

Emmett had many reasons for wanting the chance to go to Eden. The money Babel was offering, the health care for his family, was too good not to fight for his spot, which became necessary when the group found out only eight of them would actually succeed in being chosen to go to Eden. Emmett was a good guy and I liked seeing the walls he’d put up as he tried to think of the others as only competition start to crumble as they became friends. They became a family, as dysfunctional as they were. He could be very quick to anger and point out when he thought something was unfair but he was also protective when it came to his friends.

There were many great supporting characters and I ended up liking most of the group Emmett was in direct competition with, especially Kaya and Bilal. I also really liked Jaime, Katsu, and Azima. They were a very diverse group but they all had the common goal of being one of the eight selected to go to Eden. The adults on the ship were more suspicious and it was easy to start thinking there was more going on that the teens were told.

The competition aspect of the plot took up most of the book. The teens were pitted against each other at all levels. How they could use and manipulate Nyxia(the substance they were being sent to Eden to mine), how they fought against each other in simulations, how they worked as a team, to the point where it felt like everything they did they were being judged and scored on. It was a constant reminder that no one was safe, no matter how ahead they were in points. It was what made the book so fast-paced and, combined with all the twists, made me so excited for the next book.

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

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September Wrap-Up/October TBR

One big month of releases down, one to go. I love October. It’s a great time for creepy reads, fantasy reads, cozy socks, and hot chocolate.

September Wrap-Up:

Earthbound Earthbound – Aprilynne Pike. 3/5 stars. This was good but it didn’t grab me as much as a lot of the books I picked up this month.

earthquake Earthquake – Aprilynne Pike. 3/5 stars. See above.

Moxie Moxie – Jennifer Mathieu. 4/5 stars. Review. Girl power to the max!

Kat and Meg Kat and Meg Conquer the World – Anna Priemaza. Review. 3.5/5 stars. This was cute and I thought it was very relevant to today, especially with the Youtube star aspect.

Otherworld Otherworld – Jason Segel/Kirsten Miller. 3.5/5 stars. I loved the concept and I think I would have enjoyed it more if Warcross by Marie Lu still wasn’t in my head.

Afterlife of Holly Chase The Afterlife of Holly Chase – Cynthia Hand. 4/5 stars. Review. This was a short read but still fun.

What I Thought Was true big What I Thought Was True – Huntley Fitzpatrick. 3.5/5 stars. I enjoyed this one but it wasn’t my favourite Huntley novel.

Brooding YA Hero Brooding YA Hero – Carrie Ann DiRisio. 3.5/5 stars. Review. So hilarious while also being very true.

Great Pursuit The Great Pursuit – Wendy Higgins. 4/5 stars. Review. Books like this are the reason Wendy Higgins is on my auto-buy author list.

30201161 The Careful Undressing of Love – Corey Ann Haydu. 3/5 stars. I had a bit of a hard time connecting at first but I enjoyed the story in the end.

Retribution Rails Retributions Rails – Erin Bowman. 4/5 stars. Erin Bowman + westerns = do no wrong. Love it.

Fireblood Fireblood – Elly Blake. 4/5 stars. Review. Just as good, if not more, then the first one.

Release Release – Patrick Ness. 4/5 stars. Patrick Ness always seems to find a way to get me right in the feels. No matter what.

North of Happy big North of Happy – Adi Alsaid. 3.5/5 stars. It was a little predictable but once I got into it, I liked it.

Nyxia Nyxia – Scott Reintgen. 4.5/5 stars. Review coming. This might be my choice for surprise of the year. I really wasn’t sure going into it but ended up finishing it in one night.

Long Way Down Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds. 4.5/5 stars. Powerful. Just powerful.

When It's Real When It’s Real – Erin Watt. 4/5 stars. This was cute and fun. It had some tropes I’m not a huge fan of but it was worth it in the end.

October TBR:

Rules of RainInto the Bright UnknownThe Nowhere GirlsHere We Are Now

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Book Review: Fireblood by Elly Blake

Fireblood

Fireblood

Release date: September 12th 2017

4 stars

All hail the Fire Queen.
Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past…
Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fire Queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax—which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, Ruby no longer knows whom to trust. The fates of two kingdoms are now in her hands.

This sequel picked up not to long after Frostblood left off, with Arcus on the throne and Ruby attempting to navigate the Frostblood kingdom where many, most, people hate her and fear her. With the Minax loose in the kingdom, she was determined to find a way to stop it, to defeat it once and for all, but doing so would mean leaving Arcus and traveling to the Fireblood kingdom.

I really liked seeing the Fireblood kingdom and how different it was from the Frostblood one. There were many great additions in this sequel that made me like it even more than the first. Hopefully that trend keeps up and the third one is also amazing. I loved the introduction to Kai, his flirtation, his confidence, his backstory, his unwillingness to treat Ruby as fragile. He did need her just as much as she needed him and them training together and helping each other were great scenes. And there were many of them. I loved seeing the relationship between them, whatever it was turning into, develop.

Ruby was fierce in this book. In the first one, she had a lot of growth with regards to becoming stronger and trusting herself and her powers. In this one, it was more about her determination to fight and destroy to Minax, even if she still wasn’t convinced she was the prophesied Child of the Light. I loved seeing her learn to push her powers even more than in the first book and her learning more about the Firebloods.

I also loved the way the mythology has been worked into this series and continued to be important. It wasn’t just a quick explanation at the beginning of book one and then forgotten about, it was a huge part of the prophecy and was something that kept getting elaborated on through this sequel. I would definitely read a spin-off series of the Gods of this world. It’s going to be way too long until the next one comes out but at least we already have a title and cover!

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

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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:

Thunderhead

Thunderhead

Release date: March 6th 2018

Goodreads: Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.
Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.
Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

Why I’m excited: I loved Scythe and I love Neal Shusterman so how could I not be excited?

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