Monday, January 30, 2017

Review: All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

 Summary from Goodreads:

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn't necessary.

Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

Release Date: February 7th



My Review:

What I Liked:

The writing style. The first person narrative really worked to engross me in the novel and experience the craziness and emotions along side the narrator.

The plot. The plot is crazy. I enjoyed the uniqueness of the story line and the fact that I could never guess what was going to happen next. Plus, it was nice to read a standalone novel for a chance instead of a series.

Characters. I grew to relate to the main character because Tom is extremely relatable even if some of his actions or views did not coalign with my own. The side characters, Penny, his parents and others stood out and I would have liked more of them.

What I Did Not Like:

Structure. The super short chapters were okay but they started to get distracting and I would liked a different format.

Some of the plot. The last part of the novel went a bit too quickly and I started to get confused by all of the time travel and alternate realities. I usually complain about slow pacing but this one had the opposite problem in the last section.

I recommend checking this out even if your not a big fan of science fiction like me, some of the physics and time travel aspects were confusing but the characters made up for that.

My Rating:

4 Stars Out of 5 Stars

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #139

badgeThe Meme Comes From The Book Dare.

I'm trying to get back into reading while balancing my homework (which is lots of reading). I did manage to do more reading this weekend than in the past month! :) Both of the books come in February and I will be reviewing them close to release date. 


Books I Read Last Week:

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai - 4 Stars
Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage - 3 Stars




Number of Pages:  720




Currently Reading:



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday # 129



"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.


 Summary from Goodreads:

This is not about blood or love. This is about treason.

Nearly a year has passed since Amani and the rebels won their epic battle at Fahali. Amani has come into both her powers and her reputation as the Blue-Eyed Bandit, and the Rebel Prince's message has spread across the desert - and some might say out of control. But when a surprise encounter turns into a brutal kidnapping, Amani finds herself betrayed in the cruellest manner possible.

Stripped of her powers and her identity, and torn from the man she loves, Amani must return to her desert-girl's instinct for survival. For the Sultan's palace is a dangerous one, and the harem is a viper's nest of suspicion, fear and intrigue. Just the right place for a spy to thrive... But spying is a dangerous game, and when ghosts from Amani's past emerge to haunt her, she begins to wonder if she can trust her own treacherous heart.

My Notes:

I'm currently reading Rebel of the Sands and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one! I'm so happy that it comes out next month.

Wishlist Wednesday # 128



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.

 Summary from Goodreads:

Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke's wedding (one of whom is given a donkey's head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny.

My Notes:

 I'm in a Shakespeare mood and want to read all of his works. I thought that starting with the comedies would be fun. :)


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books on My TBR #122


The Broke and Bookish.

1. The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins.
3. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord 
5. The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid 

7. The Song Rising (The Bone Season #3) by Samantha Shannon
9.Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I'm about half way through this and I'm stuck for some reason. I hope I can finish it soon because I really enjoy Meyer's novels. 
10. Villette by Charlotte Brontë. Another one I'm about half way through and stuck. 

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #139

badgeThe Meme Comes From The Book Dare.


Books I Read Last Week:

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë



Number of Pages:  501



Currently Reading:





Sunday, January 22, 2017

Review: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

Summary from Goodreads:

Gilbert Markham is deeply intrigued by Helen Graham, a beautiful and secretive young widow who has moved into nearby Wildfell Hall with her young son. He is quick to offer Helen his friendship, but when her reclusive behavior becomes the subject of local gossip and speculation, Gilbert begins to wonder whether his trust in her has been misplaced. It is only when she allows Gilbert to read her diary that the truth is revealed and the shocking details of her past.

Told with great immediacy, combined with wit and irony, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a powerfully involving read.

My Review:

I was expecting to struggle with this novel (and I did a bit in the middle because of the size of the text) because of my past experiences with Bronte literature. However, I emotionally connected with the characters and had a hard time putting it down.

What I Liked:

The use of duel point of views. I enjoyed the authors ability to write from the female and male point of view. I loved Helen's journals and Gilbert's letters to his friend as the primary way of conveying the story. It created a depth of emotion and feeling of friendship/intimacy that I was not expecting, even more so than a straight forward narrative.

The characters. The novel has a mixture of very human characters, it does not just have sinful or cruel female or male characters but a mixture of flawed individuals. I grew attached to Helen Huntingdon friends. However, it was hard to read some of the actions and statement made by both the negative male and female characters (Mr. Hargrave, Mr. Huntingdon, Annabella, to just name a few).

The fact that novel was populated with both good and passionate characters like Helen and Gilbert but also negative ones gave it a realistic feel even if parts of it were full of melancholy. The realism allowed me to grow attached to certain characters, Helen, Gilbert,  Millicent (I cried in some of her parts) and it emotionally affected me.

The writing. I enjoyed Anne Bronte's beautiful writing style, her use of nature and settings, but even more so I loved that she was no too wordy. Her prose more straight forward and easy to follow.

Feminism. It was shocking to find such progressive ideals about women, men, and society between the pages of a 18th century novel. Helen Huntingdon was a revolutionary strong female character who calls out double standards in the second chapter, is passionate about vows, her duty to God, and good role model for female characters today!

What I Did Not Like:

The pacing. I flew through the first hundred pages but once the narrative changed to expose Mrs. Huntingdon's secrets the pacing changed. I felt that the whole journal and explanation could have been shorter

I recommend checking out this underappreciated classic novel, I was completely surprised by how amazing and progressive it was!

My Rating: 

4.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves/Weekly Update #129


Reviews: 

Reread Review: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Review: The Tempest by William Shakespeare


Won:


Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout - I'm so excited that I won this one!


For Review:


Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto 
Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage 


Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Meme: Books/Movies/Games Coming Out This Month That I Want To Read/See/Play # 51

Books: Week of 1/23:



Movies: 
1/27 - 
A Dog's Purpose - this looks so cute!!!
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Friday Follow # 20



This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read

The Rules:

The goal is to increase blog followers, make friends and have something to post.
You create your own post using the post prompt.
You leave your link and thumbnail in the linky list that links back to your post prompt.
Once you have your post up and linked, visit other posts and tell them hi. The point is to FOLLOW them not just comment.
If you see a post that just hit it to the moon, or just want to show appreciation to a fellow blogger friend, like their name on the linky list to show some appreciation.
The person with the most likes gets chosen as the next Feature (you can be chosen every 90 days unless we are in need of features)
It is required that if you participate that you have to follow the FEATURE. It is a big no-no to participate and ignore the feature. They are the special snowflake in this little blizzard.
As a participant it is up to your discretion on how you want people to follow. Please post RSS, GFC etc if you have a follow of choice.

Specific RULES:

Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed FOLLOW as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
  

This week's prompt is:  

What Movie from Book coming out in 2017 are you most excited about?


My Answer:

Hidden Figures - Jan 6th
Before I Fall - March 3rd
The Circle -Emma Watson!



Review: No One Is Coming to Save Us: A Novel by Stephanie Powell Watts



Release Date: April 4th 2017

Summary from Goodreads:

The Great Gatsby brilliantly recast in the contemporary South: a powerful first novel about an extended African-American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream

JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina to build his dream home and to woo his high school sweetheart, Ava. But he finds that the people he once knew and loved have changed, just as he has. Ava is now married, and wants a baby more than anything. The decline of the town’s once-thriving furniture industry has made Ava’s husband Henry grow distant and frustrated. Ava’s mother Sylvia has put her own life on hold as she caters to and meddles with those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia’s undeserving but charming husband, just won’t stop hanging around.

JJ’s newfound wealth forces everyone to consider what more they want and deserve from life than what they already have—and how they might go about getting it. Can they shape their lives to align with their wishes rather than their realities? Or are they resigned to the rhythms of the particular lives they lead? No One Is Coming to Save Us is a revelatory debut from an insightful voice that combines a universally resonant story with an intimate glimpse into the hearts of one family.

My Review:

What I Liked About It:

The writing. Watts is a beautiful writer and it is what kept me reading until the end.

The characters. I would have loved if the book was told completely from JJ's or Ava's point of view, or even if they brought in a Nick to narrator everything.

The concept/setting, the idea of taking The Great Gatsby and recreating it from a African American point of view was very ambitious and partly worked expect for the format of the novel.

What I Did Not Like:

The constant changing of characters Point of Views (and sometimes in the chapters as well) was so confusing!

The plot was hard to follow for a few of the characters, I was able to get the main point but had trouble keeping track of all the storylines.

Despite some of my struggles with reading it was still beautifully written and had an impactful main message. I think it would have been ten times better without the added expectations of being a retelling of The Great gatsby.

I recommend checking this out for the beautiful writing and the interesting characters/plot.

My Rating:

3.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Reread Review: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

Summary from Goodreads:

Dear Reader,

I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket
 

My Review:

I decided to revisit this series after watching the new show on Netflix (it covers books 1-4) to compare the two and see what was left out or added. It helped my enjoyment that the author writes TV Show so the tone is the same. I'm also in a bit of a reading slump and the fact that I read this in one sitting was a nice change. 

What I Loved:

The characters, or more importantly the children because the adults are pretty much failures or evil. Klaus, Sunny, and Violet are my favorite fictional characters because I grew up reading and connecting with them (and if I ever have children I know what to name them XD). The novel paints children as the smart ones that can see through evil schemes and come up with solutions to dire problems, it does not talk down to you at all.

I loved the fact that the author works in some advanced vocab and explains them for younger reads (and it helped my vocab back in the day), and as always I loved his writing style. 

However, I forgot how short the first novel is! The series, like Harry Potter, gets longer and longer and evolves as the children grow up (and as the readers grow up as well). 

I doubt I could have given this a low score or found anything wrong with it (expect that Count Olaf is beyond twisted) because it was my all time favorite childhood series. 

My Rating:

5 Stars out of 5 Stars.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wishlist Wednesday # 127



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.

 Summary from Goodreads:

A high stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller by a stunning new voice in fiction.

Winifred Allen needs a vacation.

Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings.

What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare: A freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.

With intimately observed characters, visceral prose, and pacing as ruthless as the river itself, The River at Night is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won’t soon forget.

My Notes:

I won this from a Goodreads giveaway and have heard nothing but good things about it. I cannot wait to start it! :)

Waiting on Wednesday # 128



"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.

Summary from Goodreads:

A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.
 

My Notes:

I love retellings and this one sounds amazing! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I've Read In The Past Year Or So #121


The Broke and Bookish.
1. The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy. The writing in this novel is beautiful and more people should read it!
2. No-No Boy (Classics of Asian American Literature) by John Okada. I read this in my ethnicity lit class, it is an underrated classic! 
 
3.  The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer, Stephen Dyer. I won this from Goodreads and was pleasantly surprised that it was a Pride and Prejudice retelling!
4.  Blu's Hanging by Lois-Ann Yamanaka. It was a tough novel to get through (because some of the graphic imagery) but is was still beautifully written. 
5. The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day. Another giveaway win that I really enjoyed. 
6. A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl. I picked this up randomly from the library and loved it. I recommend it for anyone who loved comic cons and the comic book or entertainment industy. 
7. A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install. I got some Wall-e and Short circuit vibes from this book. :)
8. Trouble is a Friend of Mine (Trouble #1) by Stephanie Tromly. I loved this cute book and it gave off Sherlock retelling vibes that I adored. 
9. The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry. I tend to dislike historical fiction but this one surprised me and I really enjoyed it.  
10.The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. I picked this randomly from the library and it was quick but beautifully written novel.