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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Recently Read. Currently Reading.

The past few books I've read have been outside of my normal reading genre. The past few months, I've been reading quite a few adult thrillers. I'm on a thriller kick. and surprisingly really enjoying it. Do you ever get on reading kicks were you only want to read one genre and devour all it has to offer? 


Recently Read



I plan to make a post about the thrillers that I read during my kick, so I'll just mention the last one I read here, and look out for that post to see the others. One of the latest books read is this thriller:



The Girl on the Train


This book has been hyped up so much, so I admit that I had some higher expectations going into it. It follows an unreliable narrator, which I kind of like in a thriller as it brings a bigger mystery to the story. The story took awhile to get going but it did deliver some interesting twists as it's been praised to do. 
I ended up giving this one 4 out of 5 stars. 
Also, I can't wait to see the movie! Have you seen it?



This next book I started back in October and had set aside for my thriller kick. But I picked it back up after I finished The Girl on the Train and finished it. 

Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)


I have found a new favorite here. This book is just SO much more than a book. The writing is beautiful, it's so atmospheric. It seems that everything comes alive when you're reading it. I loved the characters, especially Sorcha. I'm hoping to do a full review of this one to talk about all my feelings because there's so much I loved. Such a beautiful, beautiful book. 
No surprise that I gave this one a 5 out of 5 stars!


Currently Reading

I've technically started two other books that I haven't finished yet. One is Empire of Storms and I thought I was ready to read it, but I think I'm still a bit mad about the last book. I'll finish this one sometime, I'm in no rush. 
And the other is The Lost & Found by Katrina Leno. I got distracted while reading this one and then I had to return it back to the library so I never got to finish it. But! I recently got it back out of the library so I hope to finish it soon! (The never-ending tale of the books we don't finish but have to return back to the library only to check out again later on, haha!) 

Since I had just finished Daughter of the Forest, I was looking for something lighter. Something that would be a fast read. I had seen this one recommended all over the place and wanted to give it a shot. I don't usually read NA but I'm willing to give it a shot and decided to try this book out: 


Paper Princess (The Royals, #1)


I'm about 100 pages in and enjoying it okay. I haven't quite connected into the story yet but there's enough going on that I haven't dnf'd it. It's a fast read which is nice change of pace as I've felt like a slow reader lately. If you've read this one, did you like it? I'm hoping that I'll like it more as it continues on. 



What have you recently read or are currently reading? 


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review | Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Book Info

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Pub Date: August 9th, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: ARC from the publisher -- Thank you!!
Series: Yes, this is the 1st book.



What it's about

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvette is barely able to escape her father's failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father's former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic - The Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and subtle arts, she'll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church's halls, the bloody secrets of Mia's past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge? 

-From Goodreads

My Thoughts

Quick note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Nevernight has some fantastic things to offer to the mind of the reader. It's rich in a fantastical world, with characters filled with depth, and has an edge that you just can't stop looking over. I found myself, during the last half of the book especially, wanting to keep turning the page to see what happens next.

Starting out, I did have a bit of a rough time. The beginning of the book (about the first 100 pages or so) is filled with background of Mia, our main character, and the world that she has grown up in and currently resides in. It is necessary to the story and not just put in there to fill pages though. And part of me really enjoyed seeing this unique world. There are quite a few footnotes in the beginning of the book that dive deeper into the world. I often lose my place with footnotes, so I chose to forgo them and go back and read them later. Doing this I didn't feel like I missed any parts of the story. I feel like the footnotes are more of a bonus to the story and the world. A bonus I much appreciated.

Then we have Mia. The more I think about Mia, the more I like her. She develops so well throughout the story. She comes from being in this vengeful dark place to seeing more outside and around herself. There's a strong depth from Mia that suggests that there is so much more to see with her and I can't wait to find out in the next book.

Though there has been suggestion that there's some smutty bits in this book, I almost started to think that it was a main point of the book. It's not. BUT I wasn't disappointed. It was a part of the story, and it was swoony, but it wasn't a main point. It didn't consume the story, or Mia's life.

The world was so rich and unique, I loved it. I loved the magic. There was a unique language to this world, such as night being called nevernight that puts you right into the world. It feels like since you are speaking, or rather reading, the language that you're are a part of it. It was a cool experience, and one of my favorite parts.

If you're looking for a darker fantasy. One with some gore, but BA characters. One with rich detail. One with everything, a murder mystery, a romance, a school of assassins, I think this book has something for everyone.


My Rating

I don't think it will come as a surprise after this gushing review that I rated this one 
4 out of 5 stars

Have you read this one, if so what did you think of it? Do you think you could succeed in a school of assassins? 



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

TTT | Books I Loved but Didn't Write a Review For

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish

This week the topic is a rewind week! I love rewind weeks because there's so many topics to choose from (its hard to narrow it down). Also, because everyone's lists are usually so different with the range of topics to choose from.

The topic I chose is

Books I Loved but Didn't Write a Review For


One.

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

This is one of my favorite series of all time. I LOVE this series. so. much. I wanted to review it and share it so you, my friends, would see it and decide to pick it up. However, I couldn't form coherent thoughts on it. I loved it too much that I couldn't even express how much I loved it. I also knew that even if I somehow got the words out it would just be gushing over and over again about how great this book and series is.

Two.

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This is one that I thought I reviewed but turns out that I never did. I love this book and remember having a lot to say about it - mostly all the things I loved about it - but I never actually reviewed it on the blog. I found this out after I recently read The Rose & The Dagger and wanted to review it but couldn't find my TWATD review. lol 
So since I didn't review it, here's a quick rundown of all the things I loved about it. Shazi. Khalid. the two of them together. the world. the richness of descriptions. the writing. everything.

Three.

The Lumetere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
Books: 
Finnikin of the Rock
Froi of the Exiles
Quintana of Charyn

This is pretty much in the same boat as The Winner's Kiss. I just couldn't form coherent thoughts after I finished reading this series. This series is so full of feels that it really packs a punch and left me gutted in the best way ever. I want to recommend this series to anyone and everyone. It's an all time favorite.

Four.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Books:
The Raven Boys
The Dream Thieves
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
The Raven King

I reviewed The Raven Boys years ago, when I first started blogging and I re-read it and loved it a lot more the second time. After re-reading I marathoned the rest of the series. And I loved it. I find these books so incredibly hard to review. It's hard to talk about anything without revealing any spoilers since I think this is one of those series to go into blindly. All you have to know is this: just give it a try and go for the ride it will take you on.

Five.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I meant to review this and then never got around to it and by that time it had been a few months since I read it. This was such a great second book. I'm such a sucker for Schwab's books. She writes so wonderfully and has a way of completely sucking me into her stories. I have a few ships in this series that I'm dying to see sail away in the final book.

Six.

The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
Books:
Alanna: The First Adventure
In the Hand of the Goddess
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Lioness Rampant

When I read this one late last year, I really wanted to review it. I wanted to talk about why I took so long to read it, how good it was and how much I loved it. But I felt that since it was an older series that everything that I had wanted to say would have been said in better ways by people that have already reviewed it. I can truly see why this series is a classic. It's so fantastic and I can't recommend it enough.

Seven.

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Let's see if I can even get some thoughts together on how much I loved this book. Taylor Jenkins Reid has completely taken me by surprise. I have fallen in love with each of her books that I have read, this one the most. This (and all her other books as well) is such a brilliant read. They are realistic in a way and really make you think about your own life and with this books, your choices as well. 

Eight.


The Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews
(it's still going, the ninth book comes out next month)
I've currently read the first four: 
Magic Bites
Magic Burns
Magic Strikes
Magic Bleeds

I've always been a little hesitant to pick up an urban fantasy. I didn't feel like I would like it. But this one came highly recommended by InkBonesBooks whose book taste I trust, so I checked it out. And I became completely addicted. I love this series. As far as why I didn't review...  this sounds so silly but I wasn't sure how to. I'm always hesitant to review series books because of spoilers so I usually do a mash up review. I thought about doing three at a time but now it's too late to do that. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but I hope to talk about this series on the blog at some point! 


Nine.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I devoured and absolutely loved this book. The romance, the world, the story, all of it. Right after I finished it, I even got a friend to read it right away. I read this one at a busy time of year, right around Christmas. I fully intended to review it, but I never got around to it. BUT, I still really love this book and highly recommend it!


Ten.

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill

This book is different than the others on the list because I didn't completely love it. Though I didn't love it, I really appreciated it and the message it was delivering. I wanted to review it and talk about the themes and how everyone should read it but when it came down to it, but I never got around to it. So here I am telling you now that you should read this book. ;) 

Are there any books that you loved but never reviewed? Or any books you loved and wanted to talk about but never got to?





















Sunday, August 7, 2016

ARC August | First Week Update

I think I'm still in denial that it's August. but. I've been enjoying ARC August so far even if I'm behind where I think I should be. I like to think that there's always time to make up lost ground. 

Currently Reading


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Page Count
About 250

Finished
None yet 

Okay, okay. I know I haven't finished anything yet.. but I'm very close to finishing Furthermore. 

Up Next
I'm going to be finishing these two hopefully in the next two days. After that I will probably read Results May Vary by Bethany Chase.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Last Minute Joining with ARC August



ARC August is hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat


There’s nothing like joining in at the last minute, right?! I’ve been debating on joining ARC August because lately when I set myself to read something, I haven’t been following through (seriously.. no idea what is wrong with me). But I do have quite a few ARCs that I need to read and it’s always fun to join in and read similar things with other people. Here is what I plan to read during ARC August. 

GOAL: I would like to read at least 8 ARCs. I hope to read more. I have quite a few from ALA that I haven't gotten to yet and would love to make a dent in that tbr pile. Here's a few that I would like to get to. I'm trying to keep my tbr laid-back to encourage me to read more.


I'll be starting with the book that I'm currently reading which is an ARC:

(Which I'm absolutely LOVING)

Have you joined ARC August? What are you planning to read? Any books you see on this post that you think I should read first?





Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review | The Summer of Sloane

Book Info

Title: Summer of Sloane
Author: Erin L. Schneider
Pub Date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Checked out from the library
Series: No



What it's about

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy Beach Days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle. 

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she'd be spending at her mom's home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there's no reason Sloane shouldn't enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn't always play by the rules, she knows he's the perfect distraction from everything that's so wrong back home.

But it turns out a measly ocean isn't nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from  her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane's carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she'd hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.
-From Goodreads

My Thoughts

I picked up this one looking for a great summer read. I had heard some good reviews and was looking forward to seeing what these glowing reviews were talking about. Little did I know, I was about to be blown away. 

The story packs a punch right in the beginning. (For those that have read it...you see what I did there;)) Right away I was drawn into Sloane's life. And I felt for her. Erin L. Schneider wrote in such a way that you feel for Sloane. You aren't told what to feel for her, either. You just feel for everything she's going through and wondering where she's going to go next.

I loved that Sloane is a such as strong character. She's a strong female in a many ways. She stands up for herself throughout the whole book and I admired this the most about her. She doesn't take much crap from anyone, though she isn't abrasive about it. She's dedicated and willing to help others. She was a breath of fresh air, and a really great character to follow.

The romance was fantastic. I loved watching the relationship grow at a wonderful pace. I loved getting to know Finn through Sloane's eyes and seeing where they go. The perfect balance of swoons and other relationship aspects.

I thoroughly appreciated the different relationship threading through the novel as well. There are family relationships; the ones between Sloane and her mother, her dad and her, her twin brother and her. There were also friendship dynamics between Sloane and her friends in Hawaii as well as Mick. The variety of relationships and the variety of relationship status's among her friends and family were not only realistic but also varied. To see different relationships grow, falter or just be was something very relatable to read about.

And the setting. I've never been to Hawaii, but I dream of going someday. I absolutely loved reading about the setting and the Hawaiian bits of the novel. I definitely want to read more books set in Hawaii! The Hawaiian setting really gave a beautiful summery feel to the story. 

This is the kind of contemporary that I love. The kind that makes you feel for the characters and what they're going through. The kind that is realistic. The kind that sticks with you. The kind that not only has romance, but has friendship and family relationships as well.

I've been recommending this book all summer and will continue to. It's such a great read for anytime of year. But should you be looking for a great summer read, please pick this one up. I have a feeling you'll enjoy it :)

My Rating

I don't think it will come as a surprise after this gushing review that I rated this one 
5 out of 5 stars

Have you read this one, if so what did you think of it? Have you ever been to Hawaii before or want to go? 


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

TTT | Facts (some weird) About Me


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish.

This week's topic is 

Top Ten Facts About Me


1. I am the mom of two boys. 

I don't talk too much about my kiddos on the blog. But I have two little boys, 3 years old and 9 months :)

2. I'm a stay-at-home mom. I also plan to homeschool.

I became a stay-at-home mom after having my first son as daycare is way too expensive around here. I actually started my blog so I could have something that's for me that I can work on. I will be teaching my son this fall since he's preschool age. I'm so excited to homeschool and I'm most looking forward to teaching him to read. 

3. I LOVE coloring. and crafting, too.

I've always loved coloring. I used to buy kids coloring books and always kept them on hand. I have been SO happy with the new adult coloring book trend and having so many coloring books to choose from. I switch about among crafts, currently I do a lot of paper crafting, bullet journaling and planner decorating. 

4. My current purse is actually a tote bag.

I bought this tote from Evie's store (her designs are AMAZING.) and it has served as my purse. I have never been a purse person. I just got bags that looked good and when I got tired of it, every 6 months to a year or so, then I would get a new bag. They were all cheap bags, ones I found on clearance or for a good price. And of course, they had to be big enough to carry one book, preferably two. With my tote now, I can easily carry two books :)

5. I visit my library every week on the same day.

It's started to become a bit of a tradition that I visit my library every Saturday morning. I love the library as I come out with books that I get to take home and haven't paid for. I'm lucky that my library is just a mile away and is pretty well stocked both with books and friendly people. 

6. I'll give just about any book a chance if it peaks my interest.

While I mostly read YA, and mostly fantasy, I'll read just about anything. I've mixed in some adult, some classics, some non-fiction. If it peaks my interest and I'm in the mood for it, I won't throw away that book's shot. 

7. We have three pets, all different kinds of animals.

We have Boo, our cat. Que, our parrot (he's a Meyer's parrot we adopted) He does talk, he often says "Hey Birdie" since that's what I say when I feed him and he's always looking for more food, lol. and Loki is our newest addition, a puppy we adopted back in April. 

And a few random, weird-ish facts about me...


8. Before opening a can with a pop top (like soda), I have to tap it six times and when opened, I turn the tab to the left. 

I started doing this in high school and have done it every time since then. I think it started when someone told me to tap the top to settle the can and I turned the tab to keep track of which can was mine. Even though I probably don't need to do it anymore, I have to do it anytime I open a can now. 

9. When turning the volume up/down, the number I leave it at has to end with a 3 or 6.

I know this is SO WEIRD. I don't even know where this came from. I just know that I would get annoyed if the number was not 3 or 6. I've settled before on 1, 7, or 8 but they are the only exceptions. I hope you don't find me strange for this >.< 

10. I have arachnophobia and also, emetophobia. 

Arachnophobia, as you probably know, is the fear of spiders. And emetophobia, is the fear of vomit. I'm scared of all spiders, even the littlest ones. And I can't kill them, because that means they're family will know and come after me... LOL. but seriously, I'm so scared of them I can't kill them. I've been trying to get better so that my kids don't have my same fear. My fear of vomit is a bit weird. I can handle spit up from babies just fine. But people vomiting, no thanks. Especially if it's from a sickness that's contagious. I don't know where this fear came from but I do wish it would go away. 
 

Monday, July 11, 2016

June | All Wrapped Up

June was a pretty busy month but I read more than I thought and finished five books. The five books I read were all ones I enjoyed, so I think June was a successful reading month! 

Books I Read

     Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider. This is the PERFECT summer read. I really loved this one. There's a review coming soon to explain all the things I've loved about this book. The setting, the characters, the story was everything I was looking for. If you want to read something summery with the perfect balance of fun and depth, please check this one this summer! I gave this one 5 out of 5 stars.


The Way to Walk the Game of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
I had a feeling I was going to really enjoy this book. There was no surprise that I did end up enjoying the book. The hate to love type of relationship was done so well. I couldn't get enough of the characters. This book was such a good read. I explain more of my love for this book here. I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars.



     Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley. There are many aspects about this book that I really appreciate. It's so well-written. The world is rich and industrial. There are diverse characters. I loved seeing into a new world, unique characters, and a strong and independent female character. This is unlike anything that I have ever read before and I really appreciate the many great parts this book has to offer. I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars. 


The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
I read and LOVED The Wrath & The Dawn last year. Going into this one, I had high hopes that I would love this one as much as The Wrath and the Dawn. It was a little rough getting into because I wanted more romance in the first part, but the last half was so wonderful. This duology has become one that I highly recommend and is a new favorite! I gave this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.



    One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have read and loved two of Taylor Jenkins Reid's other novels and have loved both of them. This one I absolutely loved as much as the others. I can't say how great her books are but she has become an auto-buy author for me. Once I get my thoughts together on this book, so I'm not just flailing all over the place and gushing, I'll be writing a review for it! No surprise that this a 5 out of 5 star read for me. 


Challenges

The only challenge the books I read ended up being for was the #RockmyTBR challenge. Two of the books I read this month were books that I own. Others were for review and out from the library. 

I can't believe that the year is over half done, and I know I better work some more on challenges!


Things That I Did 

Spent some quality time with family - It was my husband's birthday last month. Also Father's Day. It was fun celebrating and seeing family throughout the month. 

I went to ALA!! - This was an AMAZING trip. I got to see some awesome people again. I got to meet some new friends. And, of course, get some good books too that I can't wait to read. I had such a blast!



I hope June was a great month for you! What was your favorite book you read in June? What was something fun you did?




Monday, June 27, 2016

Celebrating 5 Peculiar Years with a Giveaway!

I'm sure you guys have heard of the fantastic book, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Well this year marks 5 years that Miss P and her peculiar children have been around! To celebrate, Quirk books is running a contest for fans of the series. It has been running all month, but currently, there is a giveaway for a signed edition of Miss P + a Peculiarity tote! All you have to do to enter is submit your Miss Peregrine fan art, cosplay, shelfies, or selfies to be entered to win! Feel free to share on social media as well, using #5PeculiarYears!

If you haven't yet heard of it, or have heard of it but don't know much, here's a bit about the first book:


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs. 

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow - impossible though it seems- they may still be alive. 

I haven't yet read this one but I plan to before the movie comes out. However, I've heard nothing but great things from many people who have my trust in book taste! And if you have read it, I hope you're celebrating 5 Peculiar years!

Now for the GIVEAWAY! Quirk book was kind enough to send me a Peculiarity tote to giveaway here on the blog! I'm sorry, but it is US only due to costs. To enter, please see the rafflecopter below. And, please, no giveaway accounts. Here is what it looks like: 








Tuesday, June 14, 2016

TTT | 2016 Most Anticipated for the Rest of the Year


Hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week the topic is...

Top Ten Most Anticipated 2016 Releases for the Last Half of the Year



Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - I LOVED Six of Crows and I can't wait to read this final installment. I needed it yesterday. 

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab - I want to devour all of Victoria Schwab's books. I absolutely love her writing. I can't wait to read this one!

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff - This book sounds amazing! I have a feeling I'm definitely going to love it. 


 

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson - So the cliffhanger at the end of The Kiss of Deception drove me crazy, therefore I've been waiting for the final book to finish the series! I am so excited to see how this ends. 

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch - This is another series where the cliffhanger from the first book drove me crazy that I've held off continuing with the series until the last book comes out. I loved Snow Like Ashes and I can't wait to see how this series winds down.

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess - I love this cover! Also this book sounds really good. And let's face it, I'm always up for some fantasy!


The Reader by Traci Chee - I've heard some great things about this book already and it sounds like such a fantastic read. I cannot wait for this one to come out so I can get to read it!

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd - This is a BEAUTIFUL cover. And the synopsis sounds wonderful too. I'm so curious about this one. 

  

Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley - I'm a huge sucker for elemental magic, and this one has just that. I'm dying to read this!

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill - Another fantasy that sounds amazing. And another book that I'm dying to get my hands on! It sounds kind of like a mystery set in a fantasy world.. sign me up!








Monday, June 13, 2016

Review | Steeplejack

Title: Steeplejack
Author: A.J. Hartley
Publication: June 14th, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Received an E-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: I think so. It is according to Goodreads.

Rating: 4 out 5 stars



Synopsis | Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga, Ang for short, repairs the chimneys, towers, and spires of Bar-Selehm, the ethnically-diverse industrial capital of a land resembling Victorian South Africa. The city was built on the trade of luxuriate, a priceless glowing mineral. When the Beacon, a historical icon made of luxuriate, is stolen, it makes the headlines. But no one cares about the murder of Ang's new apprentice, Berrit - except for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician, who offers Ang a job investigating Berrit's death. On top of this, Ang struggles with the responsibility of caring for her sister's newborn child.

As political secrets unfold and racial tensions surrounding the Beacon's theft rise, Ang navigates the constricting traditions of her people, the murderous intentions of her former boss, and the conflicting impulses of a fledgling romance. With no one to help her except a savvy newspaper girl and a kindhearted herder from the savannah, Ang must resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city is plunged into chaos.

-From Goodreads


*Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my feelings on the book. All opinions are my own.

Review: This is one of the richest books I've read this year. It's rich with the world, mystery and politics. All with a female MC that mentally and physically strong. She's smart, she's driven, she's loyal to her family, she's a pretty incredible character. 

There is so much in the book that it's hard to say exactly what genre it is. I would say it's mostly a mystery. We follow Ang as she tries to solve the mystery of a boy's death and the missing Beacon of the city.  I had heard this was fantasy, so I was hoping for some magic, but the glowing stone is the only somewhat magical aspect of the book.  And while the stone glows, there is not much other information about it's properties other than it is a highly coveted rock in this world. This is one of my rare issues with the book, I just wanted some more fantastical elements. However, there was so much more that kept me going and not wanting to put the book down. There was the mystery of course, but there was also racial dynamics going on within the city and those that live in and around it.

The story starts in a world of an industrial city. There isn't technology in this world, it seemed historical in a way but still had some advances. The description of the world was so well done and this book was filled with a such rich descriptions that I felt the city building up around me, or felt myself climbing buildings like Ang. The society in which it takes place felt real, I wanted to jump in and do something a few times throughout the book. I was always rooting for Ang, for her people, for those that were helping her. So many different aspects of this book had me turning pages almost faster than I could read them because I wanted to see what happened next. 

Ang was such a great heroine to follow throughout the story. We see her at the beginning, a girl just trying to get by doing her job, but by the end she grows stronger, uses her smarts, and becomes so much more than just a girl trying to get by. I enjoyed watching her grow throughout the story. The characters around Ang were so thorough and well done that they felt as real as the city. 

If you're looking for something that you've never read before... If you're looking for a unique city filled with politics... If you're looking for a good mystery... If you're looking for a strong heroine... Please pick up and read Steeplejack! :)



Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What was a favorite aspect of the book for you? What are some of your favorite mysteries? 




Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Review | The Way to Walk the Game of Shame

Title: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
Author: Jenn P. Nguyen
Publication: June 7th, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: Nope - but I wish we'd get a second from some side characters!

Rating: 5 out 5 stars



Synopsis | Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they're in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it's better to the be the girl who tames the wild surgery than just another notch on his surfboard.

-From Goodreads


*Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my feelings on the book. All opinions are my own.

Review: You know those books that you can't stop thinking about? The characters that you just want to push together? The characters that you can't get enough of together and when they're together you have this stupid, cheesy grin on your face that you can't seem to wipe off? Yeah this was one of those books for me. And definitely not what I expected. 

I really am starting to like romances from both points of view as you get to see how the feelings develop with each of the characters and seeing everything play out on both sides is fun to me. At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like Taylor was a bit hot-headed in the beginning.. a little overboard if you ask me (a little too dramatic for my taste) but as I read in a little further she really started to grow on me. She's driven, intelligent, funny and witty even at times. I really started to enjoy her character. Evan was different too, he's a bad boy but you see this other side come out in him throughout the book. I loved seeing how Evan and Taylor changed things about each other but they still stayed true to themselves and who they are.

I really enjoyed the friend aspects of this book as well. The side characters were wonderful and I really want more of them - I'm crossing my fingers for another book with maybe Carly's story or Aaron's story. The family dynamic in this book from both Taylor and Evan's points of view were really good to see. Family was involved but it wasn't over-bearing and it was rather realistic on both sides.

While there are other smaller, plot-lines in this story, the main focus is Evan and Taylor and what happens between them. It might have just been me, but everything else that happened seemed rather insignificant. I was too busy wanting them to sail off and be happy forever. This has definitely become a favorite contemporary romance book for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it!

On a side-note, the story reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Drive Me Crazy, you remember that one? The one with Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier (yup, I had a big crush on him in this movie). In the movie, they pretend to have a relationship to make people they really want to be with jealous, but they get to know each other more and well you'll have to watch the movie to find out where it ends. And even though it's definitely 90's/very early 2000's -esque, it's really a good movie. This book reminds me of the movie in the way that the characters start out with a fake relationship, even though they are for very different reasons. If you enjoyed this movie, definitely pick up this book!


Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Did you swoon while reading it? What are some of your favorite contemporary romances? What are some of your favorite hate to love romances?




Friday, June 3, 2016

May | All Wrapped Up


May was a better reading month than what I've had so far this year. I read 8 books which was reallllly good for me. Well, two were graphic novels and two were really short books so it wasn't as good as it sounds, but that's okay. I'm hoping that in June I'll read even more.

Books I Read

 The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater - I continued marathoning this series and this second book was soooo good. I LOVED getting to know Ronan more and all the other characters as well. The story continued along and was so captivating. This one got 5 out of 5 stars from me. 


  
Rat Queens Vol. 1 & 2 - I had been hearing good things about this series and I enjoyed the BA girls in these. The artwork was great as well. It did take a little while to get into, there's a big cast of characters. I gave Vol.1 and Vol.2 both 3.5/4 out of 5 stars.


Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
For me, this is when the series really started to pick up.
It was also at the point where I wanted to devour it but also take my time so that I could stay in the book longer. Of course, I gave this one 5 out of 5 stars. 



 Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates - I don't feel as though I'm knowledgeable enough to give a more in-depth opinion on this book, but I do agree that this should be required reading. Coates describes everything so eloquently with a passionate power behind it that opened my eyes and mind. I gave this one 5 out of 5 stars.



13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
I was looking forward to this one as it seemed like a rarity...however it was rather disappointing. I think my biggest frustration was the main character, she was selfish and critical and a downer throughout the whole novel. There are things to appreciate in it, like perhaps it was more of a parody? I've been wanting to do a book talk because I have quite a bit to say about it, but not sure if I should on the blog here or goodreads. I gave this one a 2 out of 5 stars. 


The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
I can't really believe that this series is over yet. I don't want to say too much because its the final book. I gave this one a 4.5/5 out of 5 stars.




Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Haploid
My high hopes for this one were faulty as this one fell short for me. I liked the graphics in it and the whole concept was cool. The time traveling was fascinating. But the writing was disjointed and I had a hard time reading through the book. The metaphors seemed to come out of nowhere and filled the whole story. I couldn't connect to the characters either. I can see why people like it, but this one just wasn't for me. This one got 2 out of 5 stars from me.


Challenges

I didn't pay much attention to my challenges in May so I'm curious to see how I did.

Series a Month Challenge - I kind of completed this one in May. I read three of the four books in The Raven Cycle and read The Raven Boys at the end of April. So this one is a kind-of completion ;)

#RockMyTBR - Three of the books I read this month were ones I owned, so yay!

Flights of Fantasy - The Raven Cycle is considered fantasy or part fantasy, so that's 3 fantasy reads for May.

Backlist Books - Half of the books I read this month are backlist. 

Tamora Pierce Challenge - I'm way overdue to read some Tamora Pierce! I'm hoping to pick up The Immortals series soon!





Tuesday, May 31, 2016

TTT: Books I Want to Read on the Beach this Summer

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. 

This week is about BEACH READS! Here's my...

Top Ten books that I want to read on the beach*

*beach as in also outside.. I don't go to the beach all that often but I do like to read outside as much as I can! 


Some summery YA...

     

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson - I have loved every Morgan Matson book I've read so far and I can't wait to dive into this one. Her books are perfect for summer!

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods - I've heard good things about this one and bonus! it has summer in the title! 

Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins - I've heard mixed things on this collection, but I'm excited to see how I like it and which stories stand out. 



Of course, some fantasy...

    

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh - I LOVED The Wrath & The Dawn and I cannot wait to read this one. I admit I've been putting it off a little bit since this is the last book and I don't want it to end but I don't know how much longer I can resist reading it. 

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce  - I started reading this one quite a while ago and got completely distracted by other books and didn't come back to it. I was loving it so far and I can't wait to get back into it!

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi - This was one of my most anticipated new to me authors. I've also heard some promising things so far on this story!



Some Jane...


Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen - I'm overdue to read some more Jane Austen so I would love to pick up one of her novels this summer. S & S is what I'm thinking at the moment, but that I could change my mind. 


A Few Adult Novels I've Been Hearing A lot About Lately...

     

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante  - This book has been popping up a lot lately and all with positive remarks. 

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld - A Pride and Prejudice retelling - yes please! This sounds like a perfect summer read.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan - I'm a sucker for books involving royalty and "regular" people falling in love. Also this is somewhat of a Kate and Prince William fanfic? Even better!


What books do you want to read on the beach this summer? (Do we have any in common?) Or what summer books do you recommend?