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Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked

Such a busy week. We hosted a Harry Potter anniversary event at work and it was awesome:)

Currently reading: Darkness

Finished reading: Laney bigIf there's no tomorrowThis Darkness MineGenuine Fraud

Reviewed: Dazzling HeightsThe Glass Spare

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Tainted BloodBefore She Ignites to read

This Darkness MineGenuine Fraud to review

Books read it 2017: 106

Debut authors read in 2017: 26

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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:

Everless

Everless

Release date: January 2nd 2018

Goodreads: In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

Why I’m excited: Do you see this cover? This cover screams “Trista, buy me!”. Plus the plot with time as currency intrigues me.

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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 a Top Ten best books I’ve read this year.

10. They Both Die At the End They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera. It’s Adam Silvera. He writes amazing books that break my heart and I read them even though I know it’s going to break my heart.

9. Letters to the Lost Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer. This book had me up all night. I love Brigid Kemmerer and I think this is her best yet.

8. Ginny Moon Ginny Moon – Benjamin Ludwig. Not a YA book! This book had such a great narrator. I couldn’t put it down.

7. Eliza and her monsters Eliza and her Monsters – Francesca Zappia. Such a relatable character! I loved Eiza and loved getting to see her webcomic incorporated into the book.

6. the-crowns-fate The Crown’s Fate – Evelyn Skye. I loved the first one, seeing the lightness and fun side of magic. This one I still loved but it was the opposite. We saw a lot of the dark side of magic. And people.

5. goodbye-days Goodbye Days – Jeff Zetner. Just looking at this makes me want to start crying again.

4. Caraval Caraval – Stephanie Garber. So magical. I would definitely read this again.

3. youre-welcome-universe You’re Welcome, Universe – Whitney Gardner. Julia is one of my favourite characters so far this year.

2. a-list-of-cages A List of Cages – Robin Roe. It was great to see a book focus on friendships over romance.

  1. the-hate-u-give The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas. Such an important book!

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Book Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Glass Spare

The Glass Spare

Release date: October 24th 2017

3.5 stars

Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.
Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.
But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.
With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

The synopsis of this book reminded me a lot of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. It was a bit of a steampunk/fantasy hybrid plot and had some very interesting sibling dynamics that I really enjoyed. They felt so realistic, coming from someone with siblings. The characters and the relationships between them were definitely the best parts of the book for me. The plot was interesting, though there were a few times I found it a little predictable.

Wil, our main character, was a “spare”, a child of the King who was not the heir. I liked that instead of turning against each other, she and two of her siblings were very close. There were times I got vibes of the “Always and Forever” bond of the siblings from The Originals. The discovery of her powers changed things for her and added a new dynamic to the story by introducing Loom, a prince from a rival kingdom. There did seem to be a bit of instalove between them but it wasn’t enough for me not to feel like they could work together.

I am hoping for more world-building in the next book. There was some in this one but it felt very incomplete and left me with some questions. The world-building and predictability has been where I’ve struggled in past Lauren DeStefano books but I am being hopeful for this one. I enjoyed what we got from this first one and it is a very intriguing set-up.

Overall, I enjoyed this first book in her new series and am very hopeful that I will continue to enjoy the rest, when they come out in way too long from now.

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

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Book Review: The Dazzling Heights by Katherine McGee

Dazzling Heights

The Dazzling Heights

Release date: August 29th 2017

4 stars

New York, 2118. Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a breathtaking marvel that touches the sky. But amidst high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, five teenagers are keeping dangerous secrets…
LEDA is haunted by memories of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’ll do anything to make sure the truth stays hidden–even if it means trusting her enemy.
WATT just wants to put everything behind him…until Leda forces him to start hacking again. Will he do what it takes to be free of her for good?
When RYLIN wins a scholarship to an upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being there means seeing the boy whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.
AVERY is tormented by her love for the one person in the world she can never have. She’s desperate to be with him… no matter the cost.
And then there’s CALLIOPE, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who arrives in New York, determined to cause a stir. And she knows exactly where to begin.
But unbeknownst to them all, someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. And in a world of such dazzling heights, just one wrong step can mean a devastating fall.

I really enjoyed The Thousandth Floor last year, it was one of the books that surprised me with how much I got into it. It was like a futuristic Gossip Girl in some ways. This sequel stuck with the similar format that the first book had. Start with a scene from the future then go back a few months to show how events led up to that point while alternating between the POVs of a few characters. I found the multi-POV really worked because all the characters were so different. It was easy not to get them confused.

Watt and Rylin were my two favourites. Maybe it was because they came from lower floors so they weren’t the rich elite and I found them a bit more relatable than Leda and Avery, or even new character Calliope. I was a bit surprised at how much I found myself feeling sympathetic toward Leda in this book. She wasn’t my favourite in the first book, not by far, but she was paying for a lot of the mistakes she made, mistakes that maybe could have been prevented if her father had been more truthful. Avery I went back and forth on. Sometimes I felt empathy toward her but sometimes I was wishing she would stop to consider other people’s opinions. Calliope was a good addition. She and her mother were con artists and offered a new insight into the characters she met.

The plot centered mostly around the characters dealing with the events from book one and trying to move on in various ways. Their plans didn’t quite happen the way they were expecting or hoping and new wrinkles would appear just as they thought maybe things were turning their way. Calliope was the only character POV who wasn’t present for the first book so it was interesting to see her thoughts as they were fresh to the whole story.

I thought the author did a great job with the pacing, sucking me right into the plot, and with the varied POVs. There wasn’t one time I was wishing to be in someone else’s POV. This book, even with all the healing the characters were trying to do, ended up being a little darker than the first. We see just how far people are willing to go to protect their secrets. It also means the setup for the last book is fantastic.

*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:

Dare Mighty Things

Dare Mighty Things

Release date: October 10th 2017

Goodreads: THE RULES ARE SIMPLE: You must be gifted. You must be younger than twenty-five. You must be willing to accept the dangers that you will face if you win.
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Gupta’s entire life has been leading up to this—the opportunity to travel to space. But to secure a spot on this classified mission, she must first compete against the best and brightest people on the planet. People who are as determined as she to win a place on a journey to the farthest reaches of the universe.
Cassie is ready for the toll that the competition will take; the rigorous mental and physical tests designed to push her to the brink of her endurance. But nothing could have prepared her for the bonds she would form with the very people she hopes to beat. Or that with each passing day it would be more and more difficult to ignore the feeling that the true objective of the mission is being kept from her.
As the days until the launch tick down and the stakes rise higher than ever before, only one thing is clear to Cassie: she’ll never back down . . . even if it costs her everything.

Why I’m excited: I love Sci-Fi and this one is giving me a bit of a competitive Space Cases vibe.

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Weekly Reading Recap

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I love Summer but I do not love this mugginess.

Currently Reading: Genuine Fraud

Finished Reading: FrigidGlass SpareDazzling HeightsRoar

Reviewed: WarcrossDress Codes for Small Towns

What I’m hoping to get to next week: This Darkness MineIf there's no tomorrow to read

Dazzling HeightsGlass Spare to review

Books read it 2017: 102

Debut authors read in 2017: 26

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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 a Top Ten series I’ve been meaning to start but haven’t yet.

10. 12476820 Partials – Dan Wells

9. article 5 Articles 5 – Kristen Simmons

8. forsaken The Forsaken – Lisa M Stasse

7. 448873 The Queen’s Thief – Megan Whalen Turner

6. 2118745 The Chaos Walking series – Patrick Ness

5. 8041873 Necromancer – lish McBride

4. 13597723 The Naturals – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

3. 852470 The Gallagher Girls – Ally Carter

2. 12568505 Black City – Elizabeth Richards

  1. 13411245 Mystic City – Theo Lawrence

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Book Review: Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C Stevens

Dress Codes for Small Towns

Dress Codes for a Small Town

Release Date: August 29 2017

4 stars

The year I was seventeen, I had five best friends…and I was in love with all of them for different reasons. Billie McCaffrey is always starting things. Like couches constructed of newspapers and two-by-fours. Like costumes made of aluminum cans and Starburst wrappers. Like trouble. This year, however, trouble comes looking for her. Her best friends, a group she calls the Hexagon, have always been schemers. They scheme for kicks and giggles. What happens when you microwave a sock? They scheme to change their small town of Otters Holt, Kentucky, for the better. Why not campaign to save the annual Harvest Festival we love so much? They scheme because they need to scheme. How can we get the most unlikely candidate elected to the town’s highest honor? But when they start scheming about love, things go sideways. In Otters Holt, love has been defined only one way—girl and boy fall in love, get married, and buy a Buick, and there’s sex in there somewhere. For Billie—a box-defying dynamo—it’s not that simple. Can the Hexagon, her parents, and the town she calls home handle the real Billie McCaffrey?

I’ve read two previous books by Courtney C Stevens and they were great, some of my favourites. She writes amazing relationships and friendships and since this book seemed like it would focus on a group of friends, I had high hopes for some interesting dynamics between these characters. And they were definitely present, just not completely in the way I was expecting from the synopsis.

The main character was Billie, and we were mostly in her POV during the book. She was just starting to discover who she was, what she wanted, and it didn’t fit into her town’s usual ways. She already had to deal with a lot of judgment for the way she dressed and acted, and being the preacher’s daughter just added more judgment from the townspeople. Her group of friends, called the Hexagon, was her only safe place. We also got a little of Davey’s POV, the newest member of the Hexagon. He was sweet, complex, and it was interesting to see how different he was when he was with the Hexagon compared to his old group of friends.

The plot revolved heavily around self-discovery, the antics of the Hexagon, and the story of an epic summer. The Hexagons did cause some trouble but they also did some good. I could see why some people in the town thought they were a disturbance or delinquents but the kids just wanted to have fun. Their biggest problem was they didn’t always have the foresight to think about the consequences of their actions.

The book had a familiar feel to it, like hanging out with your own friends in the summer, creating adventures and trying to make memories. There wasn’t a whole lot of extra action, the plot was very character-driver, but when it’s Courtney C Stevens characters, that is not a bad thing at all.

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

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Book Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross

Warcross

Release date: September 12th 2017

4 stars

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

I have never played the kinds of games mentioned in this book, or even anything similar, so I was a little worried going in that it might be hard to lose myself in the story. But it’s Marie Lu and I’m pretty sure she could write any plot and have me get lost in her words and her story. The plot focused a lot on gaming and technology but it didn’t stray off into an area I, as a non-gamer, couldn’t understand. I enjoyed all the action of the game, the saboteur plot, and the dynamics between the team Emika was chosen to be on as a part of her cover in the Warcross Championships.

Emika was an amazing character. I loved how hard she fought even when it seemed like there was no hope. She refused to give up. She was protective, determined, and smart. She was a brilliant hacker, which helped her a lot of the time but also got her into trouble. Turned out glitching her way into the Warcross Championship was a good thing for her since it led to a job offer and we got to see her at her best, tracking down information on a threat to the Games. With the plot being very heavy on the Warcross game and the set-up to the Championships, Emika was really the only character to get a lot of development. We saw her go from someone who barely trusted anyone to opening up to her team and relying on people other than herself.

I’m excited to see how the supporting characters development in this series. I really liked Emika’s teammates in the Warcross Championships and hope we get to see a lot more of them. They didn’t have a whole lot of screentime(pagetime) but still made an impression. I also liked the flirty banter between Emika and Hideo. It should be interesting to see how all the relationships between these characters progress in the series.

The plot had a lot of action, fast-paced, but still detailed enough so that a non-gamer like me could understand the happenings of the game as they were playing it. It sounded like a cool game. The whole book felt like it would look fantastic on the big screen(if they didn’t ruin it). I ended up finishing this in under two days because I just didn’t want to put it down. I had so many theories and I needed to know if they were right. Plus with Marie Lu, I never want to stop reading until the book is finished.

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

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