Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wishlist Wednesday # 139

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:

New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow's pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche. 

"The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us." 

Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. 

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick's death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit. 

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara's investigation and Nick's last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

My Notes:

I need some more good mystery in my reading life. Kubica never fails to provide the good mystery and fun twists. 

Waiting on Wednesday # 139

"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:

Sasha Stone knows her place—first-chair clarinet, top of her class, and at the side of her oxford-wearing boyfriend. She’s worked her entire life to ensure that her path to Oberlin Conservatory as a star musician is perfectly paved.

But suddenly there’s a fork in the road, in the shape of Isaac Harver. Her body shifts toward him when he walks by, her skin misses his touch even though she’s never known it, and she relishes the smell of him—smoke, beer, and trouble—all the things she’s avoided to get where she is. Even worse, every time he’s near Sasha, her heart stops, literally. Why does he know her so well—too well—and she doesn’t know him at all?

Sasha discovers that her by-the-book life began by ending another’s: the twin sister she absorbed in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time in her practice schedule or the memories she has of things she certainly never did with Isaac. As Sasha loses her much-cherished control, her life—and heart—become more entangled with Isaac. Armed with the knowledge that her heart might not be hers alone, Sasha must decide what she’s willing to do—and who she’s willing to hurt—to take it back.

Edgar Award–winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a dark and gripping psychological thriller about a girl at war with herself, and what it really means to be good or bad. 

Date:  October 10th 2017

My Notes: 

I've been a fan of Mcginnis's writing style ever since I picked up Not a Drop to Drink. I cannot wait for her release. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

 Summary from Goodreads:

Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

My Review:

What I Liked:

Main Character. I felt that Janna was an interesting and good main character. She did have some flaws but she is after all a teenager and that comes with intense emotions and sometimes bad choices. However, I felt that she grew as a character throughout the novel and quickly became one of my favorite main characters.

Side Characters. I adored Janna's family, most of all her brother and mother and how they both were there for her. Plus, her friends were great characters as well who quickly became some of my favorites. :)

Diversity. The reason I read is to experience different places and cultures. The novel did a great job of representing the mixture of cultures and it was informative for the reader.

Plot/Message.  No spoilers but my favorite aspect of the novel was some of the main message surrounding the importance of family/friends, and finding your voice.

Lack of Romance. Young adult contemporary fiction has constantly been roped in with romance and sometimes that gets old. I loved the fact that Janna's experiences and relationships were the focus in the novel and romance was not the prominent story line.

What I Disliked:

Pacing. I struggled with the pacing in the first half but it did pick up in the last section.

Sentence structure. I'm by no means a professional editor or novelists but I did notice in the beginning there was some choppy sentences that threw off the flow. I have a hard time not noticing awkward sentences.

I recommend checking this novel out, it was a great contemporary and representation of diversity within the YA genre.

My Rating:

5 Stars Out of 5 Stars

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books You've Read In 2017 So Far #136

The Broke and Bookish.

It was so hard to pick my favorites but here are just ten of the books I've been enjoying this year. :)

1. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham

2. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

3. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

5. Hag-Seed (Hogarth Shakespeare) by Margaret Atwood

6. A List of Cages by Robin Roe

7. Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

8. All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

9. Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5)
by Laini Taylor

10. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Monday, June 26, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #157


The Meme Comes From The Book Dare.

Books I Read Last Week:

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (4.5 Stars) 
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (5 Stars)

Number of Pages: 736

Currently Reading: 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

 Summary from Goodreads:

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

My Review:

I've been in a reading slump this year but I'm hoping that the fact I devoured this novel means that it is over. I'm trying to read more stand-alone novels to avoid the pressure of starting or finishing new series, and this was a great start. 

What I Liked:

Plot. It was refreshing to read such an unique contemporary young adult novel. I loved the added comic elements and the focus on online friends and the fandom world. 

Main Character. Eliza was a interesting main character that I connected with because I also suffer from social anxiety. I did not care for some of her choices as a character but 

Side Characters. I loved the fact that Eliza's family and her online friends were well-developed characters. It would have been interesting to see the story from Wallace's point of view or more from Eliza's online friends, Emma and Max. 

Social Anxiety. I feel that Zappia did a great job of showing what social anxiety is really like and parts of it were hard for me to read because of my own experiences. The novel is great example of what people suffer with on a daily basis and that is not usually not shown or expressed correctly in novels.

What I Disliked:

Relationships/Plot. Despite the fact that I really enjoyed the novel I did struggle with reading some of the interactions between Eliza and her parents. However, I do understand why it was that way because Eliza and her parents had a hard time connecting. I just cringed a bit whenever Eliza was rude to her brothers/parents. (the ending did make up for that).

Pacing. I had a hard time getting into the novel, with the first 100 pages or so, but as it went on it got easier to read and connect with Eliza.

I recommend checking out this emotional and well-crafted contemporary novel. Warning It may make you cry or stay up all night reading it. 

My Rating:

4.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wishlist Wednesday # 138

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:

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

My Notes:

I found this 2017 release in my local library and the cover intrigued me to pick it up. It sounds like a mix of fantasy/historical fiction and I'm hoping to check it out soon

Waiting on Wednesday # 138

"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:

As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.

But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too.

Always considered “one of the guys,” Billie doesn’t want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. So she keeps her conflicting feelings to herself, for fear of ruining the group dynamic. Except it’s not just about keeping the peace, it’s about understanding love on her terms—this thing that has always been defined as a boy and a girl falling in love and living happily ever after. For Billie—a box-defying dynamo—it’s not that simple.

Readers will be drawn to Billie as she comes to terms with the gray areas of love, gender, and friendship, in this John Hughes-esque exploration of sexual fluidity. 

My Notes:

I mainly picked this one because of the cover but after reading the blurb it sounds like a good read. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't #135

The Broke and Bookish.

1. Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake.
Notes: I won a giveaway last year that included these two books. I really want to read this series because I've enjoyed other books by Blake.
2. The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi.
Notes: I have the first novel sitting on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up. 
3. Strange the Dreamer ( #1) by Laini Taylor
Note: I've been dying to read this since I finished Taylor's other series. I hope to get it from the library soon.
4. Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles #1) by AdriAnne Strickland , Michael Miller
Note: I started reading this recently and want to finish it soon, it reminds me of Firefly. :)
5. Touch of Power (Healer #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Notes: I've only read one novel by Snyder but I want to read the rest of her series or at least finish one of them. I've had this on my kindle for ages. 
6. The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman
Notes: I know nothing about this series but the cover calls to me.
7. Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff
I've heard great things about this series. I hope to check it out this summer.
8. Given to the Sea (Given Duet #1) by Mindy McGinnis 
Notes: McGinnis is slowly becoming a favorite author of mine. This is the only book I have yet to read. 
9. Firstlife (Everlife #1) by Gena Showalter
Another one I'm picking based off of the cover alone. 
10. Seven Black Diamonds (#1) by Melissa Marr 
I'm a fan of Marr's novels and hope to read this series soon. It sounds interesting.