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:

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:

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


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

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The Meme Comes From The Book Dare.

Books I Read Last Week:

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:

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

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:

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


Monday, May 15, 2017

Stacking the Shelves/Weekly Update #144



Won:

The Marsh King's Daughteby Karen Dionne




Library:

Given to the Sea (Given Duet #1) by Mindy McGinnis
A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab
Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
The Song Rising (The Bone Season #3) by Samantha Shannon
Sprinkle with Murder (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #1) by Jenn McKinlay




It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #151

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The Meme Comes From The Book Dare.

Books I Read Last Week:

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (#1) by Rosamund Hodge 
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas



Number of Pages: 912

Currently Reading: 

Review: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (#1) by Rosamund Hodge

 
Summary from Goodreads:

Sabriel meets Romeo and Juliet in this stunning and atmospheric novel—the first in a duology—from the author of Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound.

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . 

Review:

What I Liked:

Writing. I've been a fan of Hodge's writing style since Cruel Beauty and I'm happy that I decided to give this series a chance. 

Characters. I enjoyed the two main characters, Runajo and Paris, and the fact that Hodge decided to tell the tale of Romeo/Juliet from side-characters view points. I would have loved to have the novel entirely from Runajo because she was by far my favorite character.

Plot/Retelling. I was uncertain about this retelling because I thought it would be focused on romance and similar to the original play in structure. I believe Hodge did a great job of making the material fresh and interesting. The fantasy element and the world building were my favorite aspect of this new series. 

What I Disliked:

Point of View. The series followed Paris and Runajo but I think it would have been interesting to see more from Romeo and Juliet or other characters. 

Pacing. The main pacing of the plot/chapters was slow so it took me longer to read. 

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this unique take on Romeo and Juliet and I cannot wait to see how it ends. 

My Rating:

4.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars

Friday Meme: Books/Movies/Games Coming Out This Month That I Want To Read/See/Play # 59

Books: Week of 5/08





Films: Week of 5/08

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review: Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett

 Summary from Goodreads:

Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive.

It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world's water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain.

Cynthia Barnett's  Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science—the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains—with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River. It offers a glimpse of our "founding forecaster," Thomas Jefferson, who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology. Two centuries later, rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey’s mopes and Kurt Cobain’s grunge. Rain is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat, and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume.

Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought, Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world. Too much and not nearly enough, rain is a conversation we share, and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it.

My Review: 

I was not going to review the various fiction/nonfiction from my college courses but I decided this one needed to be discussed.

I would have loved to read this nonfiction history of rain outside of a college course. It was hard to pick it apart to write a paper because the author packs a lot of information into 355 pages. However, each chapter tackles scientific and metaphorical aspects of rain and connect to the main point of protecting our lands from pollution and acid rain.

The first half of the novel has info dumping as each chapter looks at many historical and cultural aspects of rain like the umbrella, the scent of rain, and various antidotes about rain. I enjoyed the small tales but did not care for the vast amount of information that was packed into large chapters. I would have enjoyed more from the point of view of the author instead of the heavy focus on historical figures and societies.

The second half goes away from the information overload and begins to have a clear focus. It was easier to read the last half because I was able to find a main theme.

I recommend checking this out even if your like me and do not tend to read nonfiction. It reads like a novel and has a powerful overall message at the end.

My Rating:

 4 Stars Out of 5 Stars

Friday Meme: Books/Movies/Games Coming Out This Month That I Want To Read/See/Play # 58

Books: Week of 5/01




Films: Week of 5/01




Stacking the Shelves/Weekly Update #143


Won:


The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs by Janet Peery
Until Tomorrow (Boot Creek #3) by Nancy Naigle
Arrowood by Mick Finlay


Library:

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella