Monday, November 30, 2015

November Wrap Up

I'm back! At least I hope that I'm going to be able to keep up with posting consistently now. The plan is going to be 4 post a week (Mon-Thurs) and I will adjust from there if necessary. November was an interesting month for me since I had fall break, which was 10 days off from school. As expected I was able to read a lot during those 10 days and that is reflected in my total of 8 books for the month!

  1. Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith (4 Crowns)
  2. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (3 Crowns)
  3. Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray (5 Crowns)
  4. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (4 Crowns)
  5. Compulsion by Martina Boone (4 Crowns)
  6. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (4 Crowns)
  7. Stand-Off by Andrew Smith (5 Crowns)
  8. Instinct by Sherrilyn Kenyon (4 Crowns)
I'm currently in the middle of Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith and I'm really enjoying the latest Robin and Cormoran book.

How did you do in November? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publication Date:  October 20th, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”
This was an amazing book. While it started off fairly slow and I was not sure where it was going, once it really got to the plot and what was happening, everything clicked and I loved every aspect of the story. This book is highly unique in how it tells the story of Kady and Ezra. I loved how every page was filled with something different, whether it was a chat log, video transcript, email transmissions, or readouts from an AI. This was a great reading experience unlike anything else I have ever read.

That being said, the first 150 pages or so of this book were a struggle for me. I felt that we were place in this world with little background and immediately were thrust into this story about this evil corporation attacking a hidden colony. It took me a while to come to love the characters and understand them and what their goals were. But let me tell you, once that happened I did not want to put this book down. 

I have no idea where the rest of this series is going to go moving forward, but I'm excited to see what happens next with this characters and this unique storytelling. This book is also massive which may scare you when you see it, but just remember it is not your typical book with words covering every page completely. Since it is chat logs and other documents, it is a quicker read than most books. The size of the book should not at all factor into your choosing to read this.

Finally, I just want to comment on the plot and the story itself. I have no idea how you would classify this book other than saying it is an epic space adventure. There are so many aspects to this book, whether it is the survival aspect, the science fiction space aspect, or the technical computer aspect. There were so many layers to this story and how it was told. I'm not the most technical person, but I had no problem following some of the more technical aspects of this book. I think this was mostly accomplished through the dossier style of the book and the idea that the documents would need to be simplified for that.

Monday, November 2, 2015

October Wrap Up

If you have not noticed, I have taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging. School has really picked up since we are three weeks away from finals, so I have not had enough time to read, let alone put posts together. I have a week off for Thanksgiving, so I'm hoping to get back on track then. That being said, I still wanted to do a wrap up for October. I actually read 7 books this month, but that included a lot of binge reading.

  1. Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty (4 Crowns)
  2. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (4.5 Crowns)
  3. The Martian by Andy Weir (4 Crowns)
  4. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (5 Crowns)
  5. Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephanie Meyer (3 Crowns)
  6. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (4.5 Crowns)
  7. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (4 Crowns)
My TBR is currently out of control since I preordered so many books and have not been reading enough to keep up. It currently sits at 82. Which is 25 more than it was last month. I probably should cut back on buying books, but there are just so many I want to read and I cannot help but want to buy them right away.
How did you do in October? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Review: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Title: Why Not Me?
Author: Mindy Kaling
Publication Date:  September 15th, 2015
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Source: From BloggingForBooks
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: From the author of the beloved New York Times bestselling book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and the creator and star of The Mindy Project comes a collection of essays that are as hilarious and insightful as they are deeply personal.

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

“People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you're succeeding. People do not get scared when you're failing." 
I cannot say I'm an avid fan of Mindy Kaling, I have only seen a few episodes of The Mindy Project here and there. But I can say that I am a huge fan of all these autobiography and memoirs that are coming out from various "famous" people whether that be TV stars, YouTubers, or movie stars. There are a whole lot of these kinds of books on the market.

This book while it was short was so fantastic. I was laughing throughout as Mindy talked about her rise to "fame". It really showed how down to earth she was, and also how "normal" she is. I figured going into this book, it would be amusing. But I have to say it was more witty than I expected.

I don't know how to say this other than saying this book was real. It was so easy to relate to Mindy and wanting people to like you and wanting to fit it. I found myself comparing aspects of my life to the stories she was telling. I really loved the chapter art in this book and all the little photos and footnotes that really showcased Mindy's personality. This was definitely her book in terms of having free reign over what it was about and what story she told.

Overall this was a refreshing read and a great break from my typical fantasy fiction books. Honestly, I think this book was too short and I definitely need to get Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? now.
*I received this book through BloggingForBooks in exchange for an honest review*