Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Nil by Lynne Matson

Title: Nil
Author: Lynne Matson
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.
"Nights were pitch-black, full of claustrophobic, creepy darkness. Nights were when the shakes came, from cold, and from fear. I was absurdly terrified of nighttime critters, not just weird bird men or potential aliens."
Lost was one of my favorite shows, and if you know me, you know that when Lost was airing, I spent so much time trying to figure out the island and how it worked. Looking at Nil, the premise alone drew me in. You have this mysterious almost sentient island where teenagers show up on and they only have one year to make it off the island. From that description, you are expecting this amazing adventure and survival story.

However, that is not quite what we get. Yes, this is a story of Charley and Thad and their survival on the island, but there is a huge case of insta-love that really hurt my enjoyment of the book. I understand knowing your time together is limited because one way or another you only get 365 days on the island, but that does not condone this insta-love. For me the huge downfall of this book was that it was more of a romance, than a survival story. 

I wanted to learn all about the island and the gates and how the island came to be. We got a little bit of background on it, but not nearly enough to appease me. Nil (the island) is what I loved about this book. I loved how it seemed to play tricks on the kids and how it is definitely possible to learn some of its tricks and secrets. I really hope future books focus more on the island and its background.

The last thing I will say it two-fold. First, I really liked the two perspective aspect of the book because we got to see a newbie on the island and the veteran. However, for me there were many times where it was hard to differentiate whose perspective I was reading from. The writing style between the two characters was exactly the same and there was no concrete way to differentiate the two characters other than them mentioning the other by name. Second, I absolutely loved that the characters bonded over hockey. I'm an avid hockey fan, so I appreciated the mention of hockey, especially the mentions of the Atlanta Thrashers.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

September New Releases

These are the new releases that I'm most looking forward to in September! There are a lot this month especially from authors that I already love!

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
About: It should be absolutely no surprise that this is the first book on this list. I'm beyond excited to see what the gang gets up to in this installment. And based on what Sarah has said, I'm prepared for the emotional roller coaster I'm sure we are in for.
Where to Find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Title: The Copper Gauntlet
Author: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
About: I talked about this one last week for Waiting on Wednesday, but it a highly anticipated sequel for me. This is definitely my current middle grade favorite. 
Where to Find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Title: Library of Souls
Author: Ransom Riggs
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Publisher: Quirk Books
About: I'm really sad that this series is ending, but I still really want to see how the Peculiar children get out of their current predicament. Plus, I cannot wait to see what creepy bizarre pictures are contained within this installment.
Where to Find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Title: Lock & Mori
Author: Heather W. Petty
Publication Date: September 15th, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
About: I'm a big fan of Sherlock and this book looks like it will be really good. It is a modern day Sherlock and Moriarty where they are in high school competing against each other. However, in this retelling, Mori is a girl.  This series sounds like it is going to be a great take on the classic Sherlock story.
Where to Find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Honorable Mentions: Beastly Bones by William Ritter (September 22nd), Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (September 1st), and Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (September 1st).

Did I forget any books that you are looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Untamed by A.G. Howard (Waiting on Wednesday #11)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that everyone’s eagerly anticipating!

A post-Ensnared collection of three stories—available in both print and e-versions.

Alyssa Gardner went down the rabbit hole and took control of her destiny. She survived the battle for Wonderland and the battle for her heart. In this collection of three novellas, join Alyssa and her family as they look back at their memories of Wonderland.

In Six Impossible Things, Alyssa recalls the most precious moments of her life after Ensnared, and the role magic plays in preserving the happiness of those she loves. Alyssa’s mother reminisces about her own time in Wonderland and rescuing the man who would become her husband in The Boy in the Web. And Morpheus delves into Jeb’s memories of the events of Splintered in The Moth in the Mirror, available in print for the first time.

This collection expands upon Ensnared's epilogue, and includes some deleted scenes to provide a “director’s cut” glimpse into the past and futures of our favorite Splintered characters.
Untamed will be released December 15th, 2015 by Amulet Books!

The Splintered trilogy is probably one of two of my favorite completed trilogies (with the other being Mara Dyer). So I'm beyond excited about this collection of novellas we are getting, because I will get to see even more of Alyssa, Morpheus, and Jeb (even though I do not really like him)! It will be a great Christmas gift!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Teaser Tuesday #25- Finale

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you post a quote from a book you are currently reading. It is hosted by A Daily Rhythm.
“I personally believe Patch scared the pants off normal, and it took off running for the far side of the world.”
                                                            - Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
I have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with this series. While I love the angels and demons aspect, I do have some issues with Patch's behavior toward Nora. However, it is still a fun read and I have for the most part enjoyed reading the previous books.

Find the book here: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Let me know in the comments what book you are currently reading!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Tithe by Holly Black

Title: Tithe
Author: Holly Black
Publication Date:  April 1st, 2004
Publisher: Margaret McElderry Book Press
Source: Bought it 
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms - a struggle that could very well mean her death

"If you think on it, I'm sure that you'll admit there's something passing strange about you. A strangeness, not just of manner, but of something else. The scent of it, the spoor of it, warns Ironsiders off, makes the wary and draws them in all the same."- pg. 96
This book gets off to an incredibly slow start. There is a lot of finding out about Kaye and her life and learning a little bit about the Faeries.  Other than that, the part of this book fails to pull you into the story. I love Holly Black and her writing, so I was invested from that standpoint, but I was not feeling this book at first.

What I did appreciate about the beginning of this book is the dark Gothic aspect of the story. Many of Holly Black's books focus more on the happy, good fae then the dark ones of this story. This is definitely a darker and more mature faerie novel. I really appreciated this different side to faeries that we got to see. It showed how fae are not always the charming, cute beings we imagine them to be.

Kaye is one of those characters that make you cringe with their bad choices, she smokes, drinks, does not go to school, and is all around a poor role model. While Kaye is this despicable character, she does have some redeeming qualities that keep you on her side. And she also had definite character growth throughout the novel. 

The other big issue I had with this book was the lack of information, I feel like a lot of new fae words were used but never truly explained. I would have liked to have had more background information on the faeries and why the compact was the way it was during the story. For me the world building was lacking in terms of explaining the fae world. 

While this novel got off to a slow start, it definitely picked up and pulled me into the story. I started to really care about what was happening to the characters and how everything was going to turn out for them. So while a lot of this book was very "meh" for me, it definitely redeemed itself toward the end. I'm now invested in these characters and seeing where the story takes us next in Valiant. Also, I really love the new covers in the box set! While the originals do not have characters on them, in this case I prefer the use of people on the cover.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review: The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

Title: The Stars Never Rise
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publication Date:  June 9th, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Won in a Giveaway
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.
"I feel like my life is a book, and someone turned the page before I was ready, and now I can't follow the story."
Finishing this book has left me with more questions than when I first started it. I absolutely love the characters and the world that Vincent has created. At first I was a little thrown off when the reality of the romance was explained, but it definitely grew on me and had me intrigued to see how it would work out. There were many unexpected aspects of this book that always kept me guessing and waiting to see what would happen next.

As many of you know, I'm a huge sucker for demons so this book interested me right from the beginning with Demons possessing people in this post-war world led by the Church. The society in this world was complex, but also well explained and made sense. Vincent did a great job of world-building. She also did a great job of blending this dystopian world with the paranormal.

While, there were many unexpected plot points in this book, there was a level of predictability at the beginning. The book definitely got stronger as it went on. I was easily able to guess what was going on with Melanie, Nina, and their Mom in the beginning part of the book. It was after Nina joined up with Finn that things started to go in a different way than I expected.

In terms of actual plot, this is a clear first in a series book that focuses mostly on world-building and realization. The meat of this book is Nina finding out who she is and finding other like her. With that comes saving her sister as well. I'm really looking forward to future books with both Nina and Finn and their group of rebels as they find a way to destroy the demons.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (Waiting on Wednesday #10)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that everyone’s eagerly anticipating!

Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.

It’s not easy for Call . . . and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium -- but things only intensify there. The Alkahest -- a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic -- has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes -- and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.

As the mysteries of the Magisterium deepen and widen, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take readers on an extraordinary journey through one boy’s conflict -- and a whole world’s fate.
The Copper Gauntlet will be released September 1st, 2015 by Scholastic Press!

I know this book comes out in less than two weeks but I still wanted to mention it because I'm really excited about it! I love that you cannot tell who wrote what in the book and I also love how Holly and Cassie write the book basically a sentence at a time together. It is truly a collaborative project!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Teaser Tuesday #24- The Magicians

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you post a quote from a book you are currently reading. It is hosted by A Daily Rhythm.
“If there's a single lesson that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so.”
                                                  - The Magicians by Lev Grossman
SyFy has made this trilogy into a series and the preview looks absolutely awesome, and obviously I have to read the books first! So far it is interesting and feels very Narnia/Harry Potter Crossover so far and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Find the book here: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Let me know in the comments what book you are currently reading!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Title: Court of Fives
Author: Kate Elliott
Publication Date: August 18th, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from the Novl
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott begins a new trilogy with her debut young adult novel, weaving an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

Jessamy's life is a balance between acting like an upper class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But at night she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom's best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between a girl of mixed race and a Patron boy causes heads to turn. When a scheming lord tears Jes's family apart, she'll have to test Kal's loyalty and risk the vengeance of a powerful clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.
This is one of those really great introductions to a fascinating world. Kate Elliott has crafted a society that centers around these games called The Fives. Jessamy is stuck between the world of The Fives and that of the Patrons. What really stuck out to me in this book was the how complex and intricate the characters were, even small side characters had any facets that made up who they were.

This book never failed to surprise me with the direction it went. Many times I was left completely off guard at the choices of some of the characters. For me that is where this book shined. It shined in its ability to keep me entertained but also guessing at what would unfold next. There were so many layers to this story that added to the intrigue.

The plot of this book was expertly woven with the characters and the world and I was very impressed with how this was accomplished. And it also makes me very interested in picking up some of Kate Elliott's other books. As for this book, I fell in love with both the world and the characters as they deal with living their lives in a society filled with Patrons, scheming Lords, and The Fives. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing on with this series in the next books. Especially with how we are left at the end of this book. While I appreciated the unpredictable outcome, it was a cruel way to leave us hanging. 

*I received an ARC of this book from The Novl in exchange for an honest review*

Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Madman's Daughter
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publication Date:  January 29th, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.
"It wasn’t just my curiosity, or my fascination with anatomy, or how I could unhesitatingly chop a rabbit’s head off with an ax when a roomful of boys couldn’t. Those things were all symptoms of the same sickness - a kind of madness inherited from my father. It was a dangerous pull in my gut drawing me toward the dark possibilities of science, toward the thin line between life and death, toward the animal impulses hidden behind a corset and a smile.”
This is one of those books that going into it I did not know much about it. I had not even really heard that many things about it. And after finishing it, I have to say I’m glad I went into it with little to no expectations. To start off the writing in this book absolutely blew me away. I loved every aspect of the writing style and how Megan Shepherd weaved the story and the characters together into this dark twisted tail.

Right from the beginning of the book, I was pulled into the mystery of Juliet and her father’s experiments. From there, the tale got darker and more gruesome as the truth came out. This is definitely a dark tale filled with questionable morals, ethics, and choices. I really enjoyed the way in which this story was told with Juliet struggling with the desire to reconcile with her father and her hatred of his work and his experiments.
I'm typically not a huge fan of historical fiction, but the way in which this was written did not scream historical fiction. I think the Gothic nature of the book helped take my mind away from the obvious historical aspect. This book is also related to H.G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau, which I am not familiar with, but I now want to pick it up to see what inspired this book.
I really enjoyed Juliet as a character. She was incredibly strong despite everything she had gone through. While at times she was mad with hatred, I loved getting to know her character and see how she came to various decisions. Juliet’s father is also a big part of this story and his character was so twisted, but also completely believable. I appreciated that the “villain” in this book was so complex and intricate. As for the other characters, you had Montgomery and Edward, both of who vie for Juliet’s affections. I thought the love triangle was not necessary, but luckily it was not a large aspect of the book. It is because of this love triangle that I lowered my rating to 4.5, because otherwise I absolutely loved this book.

The last 30 or so pages of this book are absolutely insane, with so many things happening and changing the course of the book and the trilogy. I was completely shocked by a lot of what unfolded and am now left anxiously waiting to start the second book to see how Juliet copes with the outcome and what happened to her on the island. 

Have you read this trilogy? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

Title: Armada  
Author: Ernest Cline
Publication Date: July 14th, 2015
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Source: From BloggingForBooks
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.
“The only thing crazier than hallucinating a fictional videogame spaceship would be to blame it on a frosted breakfast pastry.”
Everyone talks always about Ready Player One and how amazing it is. And they always mention how great the writing is. I've had Ready Player One on my radar for a while, I just have not bought the book to actually read it. Armada from the synopsis sounds just as intriguing as Ready Player One so I was really excited to dive into the story.

I did not hate this book and it did draw me in, but it seemed unoriginal to me. The whole time all I could think was that this had been done already, especially when you compare it to Ender's Game. If I noticed the lack of originality, I cannot imagine what die hard science fiction fans thought. I know I have heard mixed things about this book, but I think a lot of that was comparison to Ready Player One rather than focusing truly on this book and its successes and failures.

I'm not a huge gamer, but I do consider myself fairly informed when it comes to games and that fandom. That being said, I was able to follow a lot of the gamer language and the science fiction references. However, while I got most of them, I felt like a lot of them were purposely shoved into my face without being subtle. This was a huge let down when it came to this book. 

One other aspect that bothered me with this book was the cases of instalove. Everywhere we went two characters were instantly all over each other. To an extent I get that you believe it is the end of the world so you are going to be more inclined to find someone to spend your last days with, but I felt like it went beyond that. If instalove does not bother you then you will probably be fine, but I've now recently read two books with instalove and it just really gets on my nerves. 

*I received a copy of this book through BloggingForBooks in exchange for an honest review*

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs (Waiting on Wednesday #9)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that everyone’s eagerly anticipating!

Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They’ll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever. . . . Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs.

Library of Souls will be released September 22nd, 2016 by Quirk Books!

This trilogy is amazing and I'm very sad it is ending, but I cannot wait to see how everything ties up for the peculiar children.

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Teaser Tuesday #23- Lola and Cricket

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you post a quote from a book you are currently reading. It is hosted by A Daily Rhythm.
“Just because something isn't practical doesn't mean it's not worth creating. Sometimes beauty and real-life magic are enough.”
                        - Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I always know when I pick up a YA contemporary I'm in for a fast, quick, cute read. Lola and the Boy Next Door was no exception. Stephanie Perkins is a master when it comes to cute romances and quirky characters that are so easy to fall in love with.

Find the book here: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Let me know in the comments what book you are currently reading!

Monday, August 10, 2015

BookTube-A-Thon 2015 Wrap Up

So I was 216 pages away from being 100% successful completing all the challenges. My downfall was picking a 600+ page book for author sharing same first letter of your last name. I could not quite finish The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

The six books I completed were
Nil by Lynne Matson
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre
One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart
Armada by Ernest Cline

Not pictured is Beastly Bones by William Ritter.

This readathon really helped me finish some books and add to my queue of reviews. Since I'm starting grad school in less than two weeks, I know I will not have nearly as much time to read, so it will be harder to maintain three new reviews a week, but I'm hoping to stockpile a bunch so that I can do maybe do two a week. So look out for reviews for these books in the future. You can see initial thoughts on my Goodreads.

Oh and I read a total of 2539 pages during the readathon!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Title: P.S. I Still Love You
Author: Jenny Han
Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.
“People come in and out of your life. For a time they are your world; they are everything. And then one day they’re not. There’s no telling how long you will have them near.”
I feel like for a conclusion to a duology, I should not feel so unsatisfied. There were many aspects of this book that I loved and they were cute and fun. But there was also the fact that the end was overly rushed and just happened and I do not understand why Lara Jean did what she did in the end.

This duology definitely focuses on family and I really appreciate that aspect of the story. I love the Song sisters and their dad and the relationships they have with each other. I really wish there had been more Margot in this book, even if that was not feasible because she is in college.

One final note, I loved how in middle school it was Team Peter and Team John and something similar came into play in this book. It was a nice little touch.

Overall, this was a disappointment for me. I did not appreciate where the story went and while I understand this showcases Lara Jean who is very sheltered and inexperienced, I'm still frustrated. I also feel like the ending was way too rushed. There was a point in the last fifteen or so pages where I was convinced we were going to be left with another cliffhanger.

What are your thoughts on the book and the duology as a whole? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

Title: The Collector
Author: Victoria Scott
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: EntangledTeen
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: He makes good girls...bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.
“How can someone be cruel to this chick? It’s like picking a fight with a chipmunk.”
I have some conflicting thoughts about this book, and as such the high rating might be confusing, but I have to rate this book based on my overall thoughts not based on the single thing that irked me. This book is ridiculous, but it is ridiculous in a great, entertaining way. Victoria Scott has written one of those rare YA novels where our  POV is a male. These are extremely rare in single POV YA books and she did a great job in The Collector.

In terms of what my issue with this book was, it has to do with this theme of changing yourself to fit into society's notion of beauty. Charlie is depicted an an average, if not below average beauty, who proceeds to change the way she looks to be happier. To me this is very dangerous territory in today's society where people are constantly judged based on how they look.  While this theme really bothered me and affected my enjoyment, I do think Victoria Scott took steps to show us that this was not how Dante felt.

I choose to believe that based on Dante's character growth in this book, he would still protect Charlie regardless of her appearance. I also think Victoria Scott hinted at Dante not agreeing with all the changes she was making. As for other plot elements, I found it to be slightly predictable, but nothing too cliche. The predictability did not bother me in this case because it is a paranormal romance there is a certain level of predictability that is expected.

So for me this book was well done with only one major issue. It was also about demons which is one of my favorite character types so that increased my enjoyment of this book. I own the other two books in the trilogy so I will be finishing it eventually, it just is not currently on the top of my list of books to read. 

What other books with demon characters have you read and enjoyed? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Reese Brennan (Waiting on Wednesday #8)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that everyone’s eagerly anticipating!

Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.

The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life…

Tell the Wind & Fire will be released April 5th, 2016 by Clarion Books!

We are jumping way ahead this week to a book that does not come out for 8 months, but the cover is gorgeous and I'm obsessed with the premise. I also really love Sarah's writing style. 

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Teaser Tuesday #22- Nil

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you post a quote from a book you are currently reading. It is hosted by A Daily Rhythm.
"And once the mask falls off, so does the glamour. That's the island of Nil in a nutshell. Blow-your-mind gorgeous, until you peel away the facade and see her for who she really is.
                                                                       - Nil by Lynne Matson
I finished this book yesterday and I just loved the premise and the setting with this almost sentient island that controls everyone's lives and who comes and leaves the island. It is very Lost-esque. However, I must warn of insta-love because if that bothers you (like it does me), this book may not be for you.

Find the book here: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Let me know in the comments what book you are currently reading!

Monday, August 3, 2015

August TBR

So I'm obviously doing the BookTube-a-thon and already have a TBR for that. On top of those books, I'm only picking a few other books to keep my TBR very small for August. Grad school starts at the end of the month, so after this month, my reading with be significantly impacted. Once school starts I'm hoping to read a book a week at most.
  1. Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
  2. Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  3. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
  4. A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
I'm also potentially reading the I Am Number Four series with my friend EJ, we just have not decided when we are starting or how fast we are reading the books.

What are you planning on reading in August? Let me know in the comments!

July Wrap Up

July was a really interesting month for me. I was not really doing much, so I had lots of time to read, but I was very slumpy and just did not feel like reading. As a result, I read way less than I normally would. And I completely failed when it came to following my TBR. The worst part was when it got to be the last part of the month, I felt like I had failed because I had not ready 15+ books like I have been doing in the past. I realized that I've been having such amazing months reading that 6 books and 3 graphic novels felt like failure to me. This also made me realize that reading 6 books is amazing, that is more than one a week and that is more than many people accomplish and I should be proud of myself instead of mad because I did not have an amazing reading month.

So long story short, I did not read as much in July as I normally do, and while my TBR may still be out of control, I'm happy with being able to read 6 (or 9, depending on how you look at it) books this month! As always links to reviews, if I have them!
  1. Locke and Key Vol. 2 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (4 Crowns)
  2. P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (3 Crowns)
  3. Ensnared by A. G. Howard (4 Crowns)
  4. Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George (2 Crowns)
  5. The Collector by Victoria Scott (4 Crowns)
  6. Locke and Key Vol. 3 (4 Crowns)
  7. Locke and Key Vol. 4 (4 Crowns)
  8. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd (4.5 Crowns)
  9. The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent (4 Crowns)
I was also in the middle of Tithe by Holly Black at the end of the month and have since finished it, but technically finished it in August not July.

This month I read 2,829 pages which is still amazing even if it is way lower than my normal total.
#0by16 is getting to the point where I'm probably going to fail, but I'm trying not to put that much pressure on myself. I'm at least keeping my TBR constant at around 60 books, so I'm not increasing it drastically each month, which is an accomplishment. Hopefully I can continue to lower that number by the end of the year.

Look for my August TBR later today. How did you do in July? Let me know in the comments!