Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #153

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The Meme Comes From The Book Dare.

Books I Read Last Week:

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer



Number of Pages: 325



Currently Reading: 

Review: Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Summary from Goodreads:

"Am I a person?" Borne asked me.

"Yes, you are a person," I told him. "But like a person, you can be a weapon, too."
 
In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a biotech firm now derelict—and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.

One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump—plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts—and definitely against Wick’s wishes—Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford. 

"He was born, but I had borne him."

But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same. 

My Review:

What I Liked:

Plot. The story was extremely strange, genetically modified bears and Borne who can change his body, it was an interesting world and the author did a great job of world-building. I did struggle a bit with some of the concepts.

Characters. The three main characters, Rachel, Borne, and Wick were all had diverse voices and I enjoyed following their struggles in the failing world. I also loved the fact that Rachel was the sole narrator and we saw the others threw her eyes. However, I would have liked to see something from Borne's point of view as well.

What I Disliked:

Writing. I liked aspects of VanderMeer's writing style but I did notice that at points the sentences were hard to follow and struggled to keep my attention. I do not know how to explain it but I lost my place or had to reread sections because of some of the sentence structures.

Pacing/Plot. The beginning and the ending of the novel were the best parts but I felt that the middle was hard to follow and confusing. I felt that the novel would have been even better with a smaller middle section.

I recommend checking out this strange novel because of the interesting plot and characters.

My Rating:

3.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday # 136



"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:

"My old assisstent wrote a book. Preorder it cuz I fired her so now shes poor & I like doing charity 4 peple cuz I a good person" -Miranda Sings

Most people might not get angry at someone for going the speed limit. Or for liking coleslaw or cantaloupe. Or for someone not responding to a ridiculously hilarious text message. Or reality show recaps. But lucky for you, Rachel Ballinger is not most people. She will yell at people and inanimate objects. Why? Because that person or thing Pissed. Her. Off. 


101 Things That Piss Me Off is a quick-witted and comical collection based on Rachel's hit Youtube series "You Know What Pisses Me Off," featuring never-before-heard rants, along with photographs and illustrations to help demonstrate. Using light-hearted anger, Rachel aims to show that being heated, passionate and expressive about things we care for is important. And fun.

My Notes: 

I watch Ballinger's vlogs on youtube and I'm looking forward to checking out her memoir. 


Wishlist Wednesday # 135



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:

"Am I a person?" Borne asked me.

"Yes, you are a person," I told him. "But like a person, you can be a weapon, too."

In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a biotech firm now derelict—and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.

One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump—plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts—and definitely against Wick’s wishes—Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford. 

"He was born, but I had borne him."

But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same.

My Notes:

 I just picked this up from the library. (mainly because the main character shares my name, lol, and the interesting cover). 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Want to Read This Summer #131


The Broke and Bookish.

2. Given to the Sea (Given Duet #1) by Mindy McGinnis
3. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
4. The Star-Touched Queen  by Roshani Chokshi
5. This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
7. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #152

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The Meme Comes From The Book Dare.

Books I Read Last Week:

Caraval (#1) by Stephanie Garber 
Sprinkle with Murder (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #1) by Jenn McKinlay




Number of Pages: 638


Currently Reading: 





Review: Sprinkle with Murder (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #1) by Jenn McKinlay

 Summary from Goodreads:

Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are finally living out their dream as the proud owners of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. But their first big client is a nightmare. She's a bridezilla who wants 500 custom cupcakes for her wedding.

When Mel stumbles upon the bride-to-be dead-by-cupcake, she becomes the prime suspect. To save themselves and their business, the ladies need to find the real murderer, before the cupcake killer ices someone else.
 

My Review:

What I Liked:

Characters. I was a fan of the main character, Melanie, and happy that the novel took place from her point of view. She was easy to connect with. The side-characters (besides the possible love interests) were great as well, Angie, Tate, and others.

Plot. It was not a unique concept but I still loved the premise of a cupcake owner solving mysteries. And the recipes at the end made me want to try and bake my own cupcakes.

Writing/Humor. I enjoyed the writing style because the novel was a breeze to get through in an hour or so. Plus, the humor was great addition to the novel, the whole rival bakery owner trying to sabotage them was hilarious (most of all when Mel/Angie threw frosting at her car window).

Downsides:

The whole murder mystery surrounding a protagonist who owns a business or bakery has been done quite a bit. However, I believe that McKinlay did a good job of making this one stand out.

The other aspect I could have done without was the romance. I have a bad feeling that a love triangle is in the works. After reading the horrible one in the Hannah Swanson cozy series I hate drawn out love triangles.

Overall, this was a quick and fun read. I'm planning on reading the rest of the series.

My Rating:

4 Stars Out of 5 Stars 

Friday Meme: Books/Movies/Games Coming Out This Month That I Want To Read/See/Play # 61

Books: Week of 5/22








Sunday, May 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves/Weekly Update #145

Reviews: 

Review: Caraval (#1) by Stephanie Garber
Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Review: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (#1) by Rosamund Hodge
Review: Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett

Won:

Mass Effect: Nexus Uprising (Mass Effect: Andromeda #1) by Jason M. Hough, K.C. Alexander
Single-Minded by Lisa Daily
Through a Glass, Darkly: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Quest to Solve the Greatest Mystery of All Time by Stefan Bechtel, Laurence Roy Stains
The Devil's Country [Kindle in Motion] by Harry Hunsicker
Disenchanted by Heide Goody, Iain Grant

Review: Caraval (#1) by Stephanie Garber

Summary from Goodreads:

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.


Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

My Review:

What I Liked:

Writing. I listened to the novel on audiobook and finished up the last half in print and Garber's writing was magical. I adored the way she described the Caraval and Scarlett's inner thoughts.

Quote: “She remembered thinking falling for him would be like falling in love with darkness, but now she imagined he was more like a starry night: the constellations were always there, constant, magnificent guides against the ever-present black.”
― Stephanie Garber, Caraval

Characters. I had some moments of Don't make that stupid decision Scarlett in the novel but overall she was a relatable and interesting main character. The side-characters were interesting too but there were some characters I did not like, Tella, and others.

Plot. I picked up the novel based on hype and the strange plot. I adore unique ideas/plots because they are hard to come by. It gave me some labyrinth vibes but mainly it was something unquie and different from a lot of YA fantasy.

What I Disliked:

Romance. I felt that the big focus on the romance took away from the main plot and the two aspects were unbalanced in my opinion. However, I did like the couple and Julian was a good main love interest. I was interested in the fantasy aspect over the romance.

Plus, overall, I would have loved to experience more magical aspects of Caraval and had less relationship drama and romance.

I recommend checking out this new fantasy novel, the writing was amazing and the characters were well done.

My Rating: 

4 Stars Out of 5 Stars

Friday Meme: Books/Movies/Games Coming Out This Month That I Want To Read/See/Play # 60

Books: Week of 5/15



Films: Week of 5/15

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Review:

I decided to pick up this contemporary based off the hype (which tends to backfire, at least for me) and found another 5 star contemporary that left an emotional impact on me.

The novel deals with issues that we are facing today but do not talk about enough. Angie Thomas did a great job of awakening the readers to the negatives of racism and prejudice. It would be a good idea to have young kids read this book or even make it required reading in school.

The writing was amazing, the author made the characters come alive and I was able to emotionally connect with them. The sign of an amazing author/contemporary is when they are able to create meaningful and diverse side-characters. Starr's friends and family (most of all her family) were such great well-rounded characters that it was hard to let them go at the end of the novel. I hope that Thomas revisits Starr or even writes from a different characters point of view like Seven in the future,

It was also refreshing that the narration is old solely from Starr's point of view because the trend of multiple or duel povs has started to get on my nerves.

Plus, contemporary now tend to be solely focused on romance and it was great that Thomas did not do that instead the novel focuses more on friendship and family.

I recommend reading this, however, I suggest not reading it in public because it may bring the waterworks like it did for me.

My Rating:

5 Stars Out of 5 Stars