Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab


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Summary from Goodreads:

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed author Victoria Schwaba young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books, This Savage Song is a must-have for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab creates a gritty, seething metropolis, one worthy of being compared to Gotham and to the four versions of London in her critically acclaimed fantasy for adults, A Darker Shade of Magic. Her heroes will face monsters intent on destroying them from every side—including the monsters within.

My Review:

I had a hard time getting into the novel, mainly because I did not connect with the main characters, however, I did enjoy it the further I got in.

It was interesting to get YA characters that were not good or evil but in the middle, and even a pov from a monster. The monsters in the novel, most of all August, who can steal your soul was well made and thrilling.

Despite a lack of connection I gave the novel four stars just for the plot and the original world that Schwab created and I will be keep reading the series.

Also, the fact that there was no romance in a YA novel was refreshing, and something I noticed in her novels/series that the romance if there is any is slow building.

The main thing I wanted more of was backstory of how monsters are created and more monsters/different settings then we got.

I recommend checking this series for the interesting plot and great world building, and if you enjoy Victoria Schwab's writing.

My Rating:

4 Stars Out of 5

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Review: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire


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Summary from Goodreads:

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.
 

My Review:

I went into the novel blind and with past disappointing reads from McGuire and was pleasantly surprised how original and well done this novel (or novelette) was.

The plot was the best part of the series, along with some of the characters, it so interesting to hear all about the various worlds that the girls/boys find. I'm a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland and this really intrigued me, I will be checking out the rest of the series.

The formatting and the pov was hard to follow at the start, and some of the characters were a bit over the top, and it felt rushed to me but I still enjoyed the novel.

The ending I feel could have been a true ending and this could have been a stand-alone novel but its been made into a series. However, I believe that there are so many options to take with this series and other characters to follow, so I cannot wait to come back this world.

I recommend checking this out, it was fun, unique, and a breeze to read.


My Rating: 

4 Stars Out of 5

Stacking the Shelves/Weekly Update #106

Stacking The Shelves

Reviews:

The Smell of Other People's Houses: Review
A Robot in the Garden: Review
The Problem with Forever: Review

For Review:



Won:
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Library: 
Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
All the Feels by Danika Stone
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Review: The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock


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Summary from Goodreads:

In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled.

My Review:

I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction but this novel set in Alaska 1970s had just the right amount of historical elements that were not overwhelming and characters.

The povs in the novel was a great example of good different voices and how they interweave at the end was amazing. And this is coming from someone who hates duel povs.

I gave it my full five stars because of the amazing characters and heartwarming stories that you follow them on and watch them grow.

My emotional response to this novel was off the charts, at least for me, and I connected with almost all of the characters in the novel, even the ones that start off unlikable turn out good in the end.

I recommend checking it out, it is a pretty quick read but has a heavy impact on your emotions.

My Rating:

5 Stars Out of 5

Waiting on Wednesday # 107



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you pick a book that is coming out soon that you want to read.


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Summary from Goodreads:

From the internationally bestselling creator of Lost Ocean comes a beautiful new adult coloring book that takes you on a wondrous expedition through the jungle

Follow ink evangelist Johanna Basford down an inky trail through the Magical Jungle and discover a forgotten world of flora and fauna just waiting to be colored in this new coloring book for adults. Through intricate pen and ink illustrations, color-inners of all ages are invited to explore an exotic rainforest teeming with creatures large and small. Encounter speckled tree frogs and dainty hummingbirds, prowling tigers and playful monkeys. Let your imagination run wild in the leafy treetop canopy or find yourself drawn to the delicate world of sensational blossoms and tropical plants below. There are ancient relics to be found along the way, each one leading toward the mystical treasure hidden at the heart of the Magical Jungle. Only the bravest, most inquisitive colorers will discover what lies hidden at the end of this inky quest.

“The colorists have a queen, and her name is Johanna Basford.” —New York Magazine

“Consider trading in your yoga mat for a set of markers and peruse the gorgeous gardens of Basford’s imagination.” —The Huffington Post

My Notes:

Yeah, I'm obsessed with these right now, lol.

Wishlist Wednesday # 107



Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while, the meme is hosted by Pen to Paper.





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Summary form Goodreads:

With short, fast-paced, alternating point-of-view chapters, The Death Code starts several weeks after The Murder Complex ended. Zephyr keeps the secret about Meadow close—that if she dies, The Murder Complex will be destroyed, too. Meadow, desperate to find her brother, father, and little sister, is determined to fearlessly fight to the end, even if it means sacrificing herself and her friends, new and old. The Death Code introduces a memorable cast of secondary characters and delivers a vivid and scary thrill ride read.

My Notes:

I read the first novel, Murder Complex ages ago and need to finally read the next in the series.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things Books/Films Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them #96


The Broke and Bookish. 

1. The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. It made me want to read and learn more about Alaska and the history of their statehood. 
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2. Bernie by Ted Rall. The graphic novel about Bernie Sanders made me want to learn more about our election and what I believe in politics. 
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3. U.S. History by OpenStax College. I had to read 16 chapters of this for my History college course and I might keep going, it is around 1,000 pages but it is well-written and interesting. 
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4. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. The novel made me want to travel to Italy. :)
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5. Peach Cobbler Murder (Hannah Swensen #7) by Joanne Fluke. It brought back my desire to bake and I ended up randomly making a strawberry cobbler. :)
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6. Displacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley. It made my appreciate my grandparents and prompt me to spend more time with them. 
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7. Genre, Gender, Race, and World Cinema by Julie F. Codell (Editor). My school text for my film minor that informed me I need to watch a lot more films, lol.
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Films:

8. Steve Jobs (2015) - After watching this film twice I want to pick up the book about Jobs and learn more about him.
9. The Imitation Game (2014). The film inspired me to check out a novel about Turing. 
10. The Big Short (2015). Once again made me want to pick up the book and learn more about the financial system. 

Review: A Robot in the Garden by Deborah


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Summary from Goodreads:

Funny, touching, charming, wise and a bit magical, this is a novel that explores what it is to be a man, a sentient being and even a parent. A Robot in the Garden is a gem of a first novel, perfect for anyone who has ever found it difficult to connect with the world.


What would you do if you found a robot in your back garden? For 34-year-old Ben Chambers the answer is obvious: find out where it came from and return it home, even if it means losing his wife in the process. Determined to achieve something for once in his life, Ben embarks on a journey that takes him and the endearing robot, Tang, to the far side of the globe...and back again. Along the way Ben begins to change, subtly at first, and then in ways that only become clear on his return to the house he's always lived in.
 

My Review:

I picked this gem up from the library based on the cover alone, and the fact that it has a Wall-e vibe.

For such a short novel, just about 300, it had a lot happen but it did drag a bit in the middle section and picked up near the end.

The world building could have been expanding, and the novel longer, I wanted to explore this future where having androids is common place.

The best part of the novel was Tang, the tantrum throwing robot that the main character goes on a road trip with.

I would love to read more from this author and possibly more about these cute (Tang!) characters.

It was refreshing to read a fun and light novel with a happy ending, it was a nice break from some of my depressing reads this summer.

I recommend checking this out for a funny and heartwarming read.

My Rating: 

4 Stars Out of 5

Monday, July 25, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #113

badgeThe Meme Comes From The Book Dare

I'm one week away from finishing my summer courses, so it will be a heavy reading week after the 29th. :) Better reading week compared to last week and I read so much textbooks, lol.

Books I Read Last Week:


A Cold Legacy (The Madman’s Daughter #3) by Megan Shepherd - 4 Stars
Discovering the American Past, Volume I: A Look at the Evidence: To 1877 by William Bruce Wheeler, Susan Becker (Goodreads Author), Lorri Glover
Bernie by Ted Rall
The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install
The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
This Book Loves You by PewDiePie
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire 
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Number of Pages: 2,393


Currently Reading:

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Review: The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout


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Summary from Goodreads:

For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.


It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

My Review:

I have not had any time for reading so I took my time with this one, spending a few days on it (which never happens) and I'm glad I did. It helped me get out of semi-slump, mainly I was so stressed about grades/homework I was not reading for fun :(

I'm hoping that Armentrout writes another novel for this series, either a sequel or a companion novel about one of the other characters like Katie McGarry does.

The main reason I gave this 5 stars was the characters, I adored Mallory and liked Rider (and loved the side characters) and everything they went through had me in tears and feeling everything.

The various messages embedded throughout the novel, about the past not ruling your life (this really hit me) and others were so amazing and deep.

The plot itself was so original and it stood out in compassion to other contemporary ya novels, and the fact that it was almost 500 pages really helped develop everything and the pacing was perfect for me.

I recommend checking out this contemporary, it has cute moments but be prepared for tears.

My Rating:

5 Stars Out of 5

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves/Weekly Update #105

Stacking The Shelves

Reviews:

A Cold Legacy (The Madman’s Daughter #3): Review
Salt and Storm: Review
Wink Poppy Midnight: Review
Falling For You: Review
Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure (Chooseable-Path Adventures): Review



For Review:



Bought:

Doctor Who Coloring Book- $7.99
Alice in Wonderland Coloring Boo - $3.99

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Library:

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg
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Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: A Cold Legacy (The Madman’s Daughter #3) by Megan Shepherd



Summary from Goodreads:
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After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity.
 

My Review:

It took me forever but I finally finished the Madman's Daughter trilogy and it was a great read. It has to be one of my favorite YA gothic novels, a genre that has limited choices. I was prompted to finish it because I'm enjoying Shepherds new alien/sci fi series.

I loved the infusion of various Gothic novels like Jekyll and HydeFrankenstein, and The Island of Dr. Moreau, and how each of the novels focuses on one of them.  I've read all of them expect The Island of Dr. Moreau but I hope to change that soon.

I was able to connect with Juliet again and enjoyed some of the old and new secondary characters in the series, like Edward/Beast and Balthazar.

The ending was good but I wanted a different ending for our heroine, and possibly a different love interest.

I recommend checking out this series if you enjoy retellings/eerie storytelling.

My Rating:

4 Out of 5 Stars

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday # 106



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you pick a book that is coming out soon that you want to read.


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Summary from Goodreads:

Experience the timey-wimey travels of the Doctor moment by moment with this historical Doctor Who coloring book.

Inside you'll find the Doctor's greatest friends and foes from throughout all of history, with original illustrations featuring Churchill, Shakespeare, Van Gogh, Dickens, Madame de Pompadour and many more. Color in kings and queens, Romans and Egyptians, Viking villages and erupting volcanoes . . . not forgetting the occasional dinosaur on a spaceship.

With 45 brand new images to color, Travels in Time is a fantastic addition to any coloring collection.
 

My Notes: 

I just got the first coloring book in this series and I already want more of them :)