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Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked

Saw Ant-man and the Wasp. So funny!

Currently reading: 32333296

Finished reading: 12813630Very Large Expanse of the SeaGrim LoveliesWar outside

Reviewed: Nothing. I failed.

What I’m hoping to get to next week: 3667298836105772 to read

War outside to review

Books read it 2018: 114

Debut YA/MG authors read for 2018: 36

Contemporary: 59

Fantasy: 31

Sci-Fi: 8

Dystopian: 4

Historical: 5

Misc: 1

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Weekly Reading Recap

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Coming at you a day late this week because my stop on the Nyxia Unleashed blog tour was yesterday. If you guys haven’t read Nyxia yet, you totally should!

Currently reading: War outside

Finished reading: Catching Stars3750643732768520Nyxia Unleashed

Reviewed: Nyxia UnleashedDear Evan Hansen

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Grim LoveliesVery Large Expanse of the Sea to read

Zero Repeat Forever to review

Books read it 2018: 110

Debut YA/MG authors read for 2018: 36

Contemporary: 58

Fantasy: 29

Sci-Fi: 8

Dystopian: 4

Historical: 4

Misc: 1

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Book Review: Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen

Release date: October 9th 2018

4.5 stars

Dear Evan Hansen,
Today’s going to be an amazing day and here’s why…

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.
Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore–even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be?
No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.
A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

I am a huge fan of the Dear Evan Hansen musical so a novelization of it seemed like a dream come true. It was slightly different from the musical as a lot of the storytelling doesn’t come from songs in the book but it stayed very close to the musical version. I also felt the book stood well on its own, for anyone uninterested in seeing or listening to the musical.

The biggest change was that we got to see a lot of more Connor Murphy’s thoughts as himself, not as Evan’s conscience or imagination. I loved this because it meant we got more insight into Connor, more backstory. The book took everything from the musical and just added to it, shaped it into something more while still respecting the source material.

For anyone not interested in the musical, the book is still a full story on its own. The characters were well developed, the plot was complete, and it was still a huge roller coaster of emotions. It dealt with issues very relevant to today with anxiety, suicide, and depression. I know this review is short but if you know the musical, you know most of the story in his book, and if you don’t know the musical, anything more I say could be a spoiler. I’ll leave it with, this book is definitely worth reading.

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.

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Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked

We’re in the middle of a heat wave. Well, a heat wave for around here. Reading outside can be hit or miss depending on how muggy it is. Don’t want finger sweat on my pages.

Currently reading: Nyxia Unleashed

Finished reading: Zero Repeat ForeverSummer WivesLoneliest GirlDear Evan Hansen

Reviewed: Sadie

What I’m hoping to get to next week: 3276852037506437 to read

Dear Evan HansenZero Repeat Forever to review

Books read it 2018: 106

Debut YA/MG authors read for 2018: 33

Contemporary: 57

Fantasy: 27

Sci-Fi: 7

Dystopian: 4

Historical: 4

Misc: 1

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June Wrap-Up/July TBR

We’re halfway through the year. It doesn’t feel like it. It feels, most of the time, like the year is flying by. Now if only this summer would hurry up and get hot.

June Wrap-Up:

Losing the Field Losing the Field – Abbi Glines. Review.

These Rebel Waves These Rebel Waves – Sara Raasch. Review.

Legendary Legendary – Stephanie Garber.

22296822 The Edge of Everything – Jeff Giles.

36076501 The Girl Who Smiled Beads – Clemantine Wamariya.

heartless Heartless – Marissa Meyer.

Hidden Pieces Hidden Pieces – Paula Stokes.

Grace and Fury Grace and Fury – Tracy Banghart. Review.

350364 Chain Reaction – Darrell Scott.

18065780 Model Misfit – Holly Smalle.

Truth Lies Here The Truth Lies Here – Lindsey Klingele. Review.

34499238 As She Fades – Abbi Glines.

37822534 Seafire – Natalie C Parker.

Rule Rule – Ellen Goodlett.

36142487 Anger is a Gift – Mark Oshiro.

Sadie Sadie – Courtney Summers. Review.

Dear Evan Hansen Dear Evan Hansen – Val Emmich.

Loneliest Girl The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – Lauren James.

July TBR:

Nyxia UnleashedWar outsideGrim Lovelies

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Book Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie

Sadie

Release date: September 4th 2018

4 stars

A gripping novel about the depth of a sister’s love; poised to be the next book you won’t be able to stop talking about.
A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial-like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.
Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Sadie was one of those books that completely took me by surprise. I thought I knew what I was getting into when I began reading, but it turned into something much more than I was expecting. I loved the dual timelines, with one being Sadie’s POV and one being the podcast interview. I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts so I was unsure of how I would enjoy a book where half of it was written as a podcast but it was a great way to make the two timelines feel connected and there was still plenty of emotion through the podcast parts.

Sadie was one of those characters who made me hurt. She lived her life for her sister pretty much since the moment Mattie was born. She never truly got to be a child. Her POV was in the timeline of the past, showing her trying to find the man she thought responsible for her sister’s murder. Through her, we get to know more about Mattie as well and we see just how much Sadie loved her. It was hard to see Sadie getting more and more reckless as she was desperate to find her sister’s murderer.

The other half of the book was West McCray’s investigation as a podcast. He was interviewing people who knew Sadie and Mattie, tracking down the people who Sadie had talked to months earlier, and following all the clues she’d left behind, which wasn’t many. It was interesting to see how he went from completely uninterested in the story of Sadie to completely invested by the time he was finished. His section, with his more detached investigator voice, balanced Sadie’s passion and anger, and both sections worked together to create a dark, disturbing story that will stay with its reader long after the last page has been read.

It’s been about five days since I finished this book and it hasn’t left my thoughts yet.

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

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Weekly Reading Recap

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We’ve had a few really nice days in a row:) Too bad I worked them all. Hopefully Friday is nice because I’m off.

Currently reading: Dear Evan Hansen

Finished reading: SadieRule3614248737822534

Reviewed: Truth Lies Here

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Loneliest GirlSummer Wives to read

RuleSadie to review

Books read it 2018: 102

Debut YA/MG authors read for 2018: 33

Contemporary: 55

Fantasy: 27

Sci-Fi: 6

Dystopian: 4

Historical: 3

Misc: 1

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Book Review: The Truth Lies Here by Lindsey Klingele

Truth Lies Here

The Truth Lies Here

Release date: August 21st 2018

3.5 stars

In small town Michigan, Penny, an aspiring journalist, teams up with the nerdy boy-next-door and the town’s star quarterback to find her conspiracy theorist father after he goes missing and several other townspeople turn up dead in the woods.
The deeper she digs, the weirder things start to get. Townspeople repeat the same phrases—verbatim. Men in black suits stroll around Main Street. Chunks of her memory go missing. Pretty soon, Penny’s research leads her to the long-ago meteorite crash in Bone Lake’s woods, and she’s going to have to reconsider her definition of “real” if she wants answers. . . .

This is a great pick for a rainy, dark night when you want a book that has a bit of a creepy factor to it. Or at any time, but it has that definite feel of a dark night read. It was fairly quick to read, fast paced, it kept my interest through the whole book. It did have some twists I found predictable but that could be because it reminded me of Supernatural or The X-Files, two shows I’ve watched so many times I question everything when a book reminds me of them.

The whole book was through Penny’s POV, an aspiring journalist student hoping to use her childhood hometown as the backdrop to a human interest piece that she was sure would put her application over the top. Except her dad never showed to get her at the airport. I could understand her lack of concern at first, she was used to her father putting his work above everything else and they were on complete opposite sides of the journalism spectrum. It made for an interesting relationship even with her father being absent.

There was a bit of a love triangle between Penny, her childhood best friend Dex, and her childhood crush Micah, but it never overtook the story. Both boys added something different to the plot but I was leaning more toward Dex, the geeky best friend who loved conspiracy theories and The X-Files and who was by Penny’s side through her whole investigation, believing in the impossible even when she didn’t. I thought Micah was a good way to show how much Penny had changed from the girl who lived in Bone Lake as a child.

The plot focused on Penny’s father’s disappearance and her and Dex’s investigation. It was fast paced and there was a lot of back and forth as they argued over a realistic explanation vs a paranormal one. The more they investigated, the more strange things they uncovered, which led to more questions. Some of the twists were predictable, as mentioned, but they were still enjoyable.

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

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Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked

It’s on time this week! I think I’ve determined a good balance of reading and VR playing. I have learned that some games are just not for me.

Currently reading: 37822534

Finished reading: 34499238Truth Lies Here18065780350364

Reviewed: Grace and Fury

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Rule36142487 to read

Truth Lies Here to review

Books read it 2018: 98

Debut YA/MG authors read for 2018: 31

Contemporary: 53

Fantasy: 26

Sci-Fi: 5

Dystopian: 4

Historical: 3

Misc: 1

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Book Review: Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Grace and Fury

Grace and Fury

Release date: July 31st 2018

4 stars

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.
Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.
Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

This one caught my attention when it was compared to The Handmaid’s Tale and I was really intrigued by the concept. There were some tropes and similarities to other books that made certain twists feel predictably but overall, I loved the girl power vibe and I loved the relationship between the sisters even though they were in separate areas. They couldn’t have been more different from each other but they had each other’s backs no matter what.

Serina was the older sister, the one who’d been training to be a Grace her whole life, the one who was supposed to be chosen by the prince to serve him and save her family from poverty. Nomi was the younger and serving as Serina’s handmaiden, which meant leaving her twin brother behind. Nomi was rebellious and everything a Grace shouldn’t be but she ended up catching the attention of the prince. The author didn’t waste any time setting up the stakes of the book with Nomi chosen as a Grace and Serina taking the fall for a secret her sister was hiding very early on in the book.

With the sisters separated, it gave the book the chance to show other female characters and gave the sisters other people to turn to besides family. This was especially true of Serina, who was imprisoned on an island with many other women and I enjoyed seeing the survival aspect while also seeing that these women took care of each other, even though they were forced to fight each other for food. Nomi had less female influence in her corner. She had her handmaiden to help her with dressing and daily tasks but they other two girls she spent the most time with her other Graces, who would likely go running to the King or Prince if they caught wind of Nomi doing anything wrong. It was really interesting to see each sister have to transform into someone they’d spent their whole life trying not to be: polite and submissive Serina had to learn to fight while rebellious Nomi had to learn how to fit in with the demure Graces.

The story caught my attention right away and didn’t let go. It was a very addictive read with lots of twists, some predictable and others more surprising. I definitely cannot wait for the next book.

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.

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