Sunday, July 23, 2017

Review Sunday: Post-High School Reality Quest by Meg Eden


Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"Buffy is playing a game. However, the game is her life, and there are no instructions or cheat codes on how to win.

After graduating high school, a voice called “the text parser” emerges in Buffy’s head, narrating her life as a classic text adventure game. Buffy figures this is just a manifestation of her shy, awkward, nerdy nature—until the voice doesn’t go away, and instead begins to dominate her thoughts, telling her how to life her life. Though Buffy tries to beat the game, crash it, and even restart it, it becomes clear that this game is not something she can simply “shut off” or beat without the text parser’s help.

While the text parser tries to give Buffy advice on how “to win the game,” Buffy decides to pursue her own game-plan: start over, make new friends, and win her long-time crush Tristan’s heart. But even when Buffy gets the guy of her dreams, the game doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets worse than she could’ve ever imagined: her crumbling group of friends fall apart, her roommate turns against her, and Buffy finds herself trying to survive in a game built off her greatest nightmares."


Review:
I received a review copy of this book from the author.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This is another book I have complicated feelings for.  It's so wonderfully original and unique but as a consequence, it took me a while to get used to the story and the ending left me confuzzled.  Let's get into it, shall we!

1.  The POV.  Normally, I start off with the characters but I think it's really important to begin with the POV because it kind of impacts everything else.  As it says in the blurb, this book is narrated by a game.  You know those games that just write out what's happening and then you select your reaction to events.  They're called text parser games (you can look it up if you still don't know what I'm talking about because honestly I don't know how else to describe it).  So the entire book is a mix of first and second person which I found to be pretty cool, honestly.  I've never read a book in second person before and now I understand why not many books are written that way.  It can be really tricky getting it right and there isn't a whole lot of depth to be found.  However, mixed in with the first person, it was slightly better and was a bit more readable.

2.  The concept.  This is another thing I think I have to address right away.  This review is getting all kinds of turned around!  From the blurb, you'd think this book is all about finding out what's going on in Buffy's head and her learning to live with her quirks and life in general.  While that's generally true throughout the book, there isn't much focus placed on it and the ending completely disregards that idea.  I think there was a bit of a disconnect between what the author wanted it to be about at the beginning and what ended up happening.  It isn't a bad thing at all but because of what happened, there are some inconsistencies and near the middle I was questioning what the point of the book was at all.  To that end, I really liked how the book ended but I wish the author would have more fully developed the whole idea.  In summary, there were two final takeaway's directly contrasting with each other and each didn't receive enough attention: life is a game, and the challenges of mental illness.

3.  The characters.  I really enjoyed this part of the book.  Being in Buffy's head is so fascinating and I loved seeing how she would react to different events.  She has such an interesting and creative mind and always reacted in unexpected ways.  I don't know if I would go so far as to say she's likeable or that I wasn't frustrated with her from time to time, but I was never bored and she kept me on my toes.  The supporting characters are also very well imagined.  Sephora (Buffy's 'friend') is especially interesting and I was intrigued by her attitude towards life.

4.  The romance.  Romance is a significant part of this book and it was very sweet to read.  There is a fair amount of teen drama, though, but there isn't much of a love triangle.  While the romance itself was sweet (and pretty entertaining), I think the author could have played up the tragedy a bit more.  In general, there are some aww moments but there aren't any really heart-wrenching scenes.  There were highs and lows but the lows were pretty downplayed for some reason (perhaps it was a product of the second person POV) and it was kind of weird to read a sad scene and not feel anything at all.

The Final Verdict:
An interesting spin on novel writing with the ever rare second person POV was attempted and is something I would consider a general success.  While the ending and themes of the book are a little obscure and muddy, the characters present a unique spark.
3 stars

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Guest Post: Publishizer's Novel Contest (bringing to light the route of non-traditional publishing)


About a month ago I got an email from a company called Publishizer asking me to post a guest post about a new contest.  Normally, I dismiss many of these emails as guest posts normally aren't my cup of tea (as you've probably noticed by the distinct lack of said posts in my corner of the blogosphere).  However, they're running a contest that I think is rather relevant to most aspiring (and already semi-established) authors.

Publishizer is running a contest until the 31st of July that's part crowdfunding campaign and part novel viability assessment.  Anyone can submit their proposal and during this process, readers can view your proposal and preorder your novel if they so choose.  Based on the number of preorders, a winner will be chosen and will receive $1,000 (US).  If you aren't chosen for the prize, you'll still be queried for major publishers.  I'll let Publishizer take it from here!


Putting the Readers Back in Charge of Publishing

Imagine a YA publishing process without gatekeepers.  One where editors and agents read the manuscripts that readers love, not vice versa.  One where anyone with a knack for writing, a passion to succeed, and a little flair for self-promotion, has a fair shot at being published.

All too frequently, this isn’t the case.  Books often get rejected for reasons beyond authors’ control.  One editor turned down an ultimately successful book by saying, “The girl doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the curiosity level.”  The book in question?  The Diary of Anne Frank.  Furthermore, according to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only about 10% of all YA books accepted for publication feature “multi-cultural content.”  Clearly, there are some blind spots that need addressing in the publishing industry.

It’s with this vision in mind that Publishizer is launching its YA book proposal contest called Plot Without a Cause.  Publishizer is a startup seeking to fill a hole in the publishing industry through crowdfunding.  It works like this:

You write the book proposal.  You know the book proposal I’m talking about.  The one you’ve been daydreaming about for years.  The one that just popped into your head last week and you haven’t stopped thinking about since.  The one for the manuscript that’s been dearly loved by you but maybe not so much yet by the publishing industry.  That one.  Then you register (for free!) on Publishizer’s website and post your proposal in the Plot Without a Cause section (again—for free!).

Now this is when you’ll have to start hustling.  Crowdfunding runs on pre-orders, so you had better start promoting that proposal.  Reach out over social media, post on your blog, email your old roommates—whatever it takes to start building buzz.  If you get the most preorders by the time the contest ends, you’ll win $1000 dollars.  And if you don’t have the highest number of preorders, don’t worry—you’ll still be queried to major publishers who fit your proposal.

Previous Publishizer contest participants have gotten interest and landed deals with a variety of traditional publishing companies, including Harvard Square Books, She Writes Press, and Weiser.  Publishizer takes a small commission on pre-orders when you choose a publisher at the end.

Every year, thousands of books are rejected by the publishing world for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the book—they’re too mainstream or not mainstream enough, too similar to books already being published or too different from books already being published.  Or the literary agent just doesn’t stand to make much money on the deal so they pass on a perfectly good book!  Imagine how many brilliant YA manuscripts go unpublished every year thanks to frustrating rejections.  Imagine how many hugely talented authors quietly give up on their dreams, just because the gate to a traditional publishing path isn’t open to them.

With their new YA book proposal contest, Plot Without a Cause, Publishizer is seeking to level the playing field.  Publishing decisions shouldn’t be based solely on a literary agent’s judgement or how many friends you have in the industry. They should be based on quality of writing and how many readers the book attracts.

Great books get overlooked all the time, and this is an opportunity to show acquiring editors that yours is worth paying attention to. Not to mention the readership and funds you could gain in the process. Crowdfunding (or crowd-publishing, in this case) is growing in popularity and brings a personal touch back to book sales—for readers and publishers. Are you in?


So there you have it!  If you're a writer and have an unpublished novel you'd like to submit or you're a reader who'd like to check out the current submissions and perhaps preorder one and support indie authors, you can visit this website:

If you'd like to read more about the company in general, visit this website:


And that's all for today!  I already have a review scheduled for Sunday (look at all this productiveness exuding from my metaphysical nature) and I'll be hopefully publishing another review or a collection of mini reviews during the week next week as well as getting caught up on 50/50 Friday's and actually being a good meme host (I promise I'm a good productive clam!).  Until then, I bid you ado!

Monday, July 10, 2017

ARC Review Monday: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave


Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"From Laura Dave—the author of the “addictive” (Us Weekly), “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and critically acclaimed bestseller Eight Hundred Grapes—comes a new novel about the secrets we keep…even from ourselves.

Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light.

Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.

And then she gets hacked.

When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.

In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age."


Review:
Thank you to the publisher, Simon Schuster, for providing me with an arc review copy!  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I first finished this book last night and I was going to write a review immediately after but I just couldn't make up my mind on how I feel about this book.  On one hand, I loved it and couldn't put it down (I read it straight through in 2.5 hours).  On the other hand, the theme and ending slightly irritated me.  So let's get into it, shall we?

1.  The characters.  Generally speaking, I really liked the characters.  They fit the story well and had adequate development.  I do wish there was more on the husband, though.  It just seemed like there wasn't that much live-in background.  There was a lot of told background but it's biased toward Sunny because it's told from her perspective.  I enjoyed how the author decided to make one of the characters more nuanced with their decision to oust Sunny.  I think it was such a great choice and one that I didn't see coming!  It also served to make the book less about finding a villain and more about Sunny's introspection.  I also enjoyed reading Sunny's interactions with her sister, Rain.  Learning about Sunny's past and how it played into her current attitude about life was really interesting.

2.  The plot.  The plot is true to the blurb it really was a fascinating story (exhibit A: I couldn't put the book down).  I do wish there was a little more on what Sunny's life was like before the hack (again, we get a lot of discussion flashback but not too many true flashback scenes).  The first two chapters also seemed to go on forever with Sunny's internal comments on what she should have done.  It's totally fine to open a book with that kind of talk but after 3 pages it gets kind of old.  The ending was also kind of unsatisfactory for me.  The villain was first presented as a cookie cutter, flat character.  Then, at the end, suddenly they become wake-up call/savior which I really wasn't buying.  It was a lightswitch sort of change and it felt very orchestrated.  I do want to say that I approve of the choice of villain, I just don't agree at all with their methods.  It was all just a little drastic and fantastical even if it did end the way it should have.  The middle, though, really shined.  I think once the author got warmed up, there was no stopping her.  The development of Sunny's character through her struggles to find herself again is so well-written.

3.  The romance (or should I say lack-there-of).  This is perhaps my favorite part of this own reading experience.  The author chose not to clicheify the story and add in a new romance after the fall-out of the hacker.  There was plenty of opportunity but it wasn't really acted upon.  I truly dislike it when authors add in unnecessary romance because they think it's necessary and I'm so glad Ms. Dave didn't fall into that trap.

4.  The theme.  This was a little weird for me.  Since I'm on the very front end of the Gen X generation, I've grown up as technology has and I haven't lived a day without it.  The whole theme is centered around having an authentic life and whether it's possible to display it on social media without starting to curate your image.  The message at the end of the book (as you can probably guess) is that it isn't possible which I would argue to the contrary.  You simply have to recognize the difference between your work life and personal life and determine what you're willing to talk about and display on social media because you start sliding down a slippery slope.  Yes, we do live in an inauthentic age but I'm of the opinion that being inauthentic is a choice not a product of social media itself.  In any case, I did enjoy the discussion but I don't necessarily agree with the conclusion.

The Final Verdict:
This is a novel that raises good discussion points (even if I don't personally agree with the conclusions drawn) and has good middle development.  The edges of the book are a bit shaky but in the grand scheme of things, a truly enjoyable read.
4 stars


Meet the Author:
Laura Dave is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The First Husband, The Divorce Party and London Is The Best City In America. Her novels have been published in fifteen countries, and three of her novels, including Eight Hundred Grapes, have been optioned as major motion pictures. She resides in Santa Monica, California.

Connect:

Monday, July 3, 2017

An Update: I Am Rising From the Dead


Yes!  I was, for all intents and purposes, 6 feet under.  The past month has been the definition of unremitting.  Let me tell you all about it and my plans to get back on track.

The month of June started off wonderfully.  I moved without a hitch and I was getting prepared to take care of my parent's house and pets while they traveled for two and a half weeks.  I thought I was being so smart and industrious until they left and I had the work of three people to do.  I was working full time, taking care of my mom's garden, mowing my dad's lawn, cleaning the house, and taking care of my two cats.  Suffice to say that I fell a little behind in the blogging department.  I didn't read a single word that wasn't a road sign for those two and a half weeks.

Now, when they came back, my workload eased up considerably.  However, in that time, I somehow dug myself into a blogging and reading slump and I honestly couldn't bring myself to write or read at all for another week.

Then, when I finally got myself jump-started with a reread of an old favorite (Fire by Kristin Cashore is wonderful btw), I went on a trip to a music festival with my family and we camped while we were there and didn't have internet for a good week.  So there was reading, but no writing.

But now I'm back!  Most importantly, I've missed three 50/50 Friday's (Carrie, if you read this, I'm sending a thousand apologies and pies to you for disappearing) which I'll be publishing retroactively (they'll show up under the day they should have been published).  I've also missed my May wrap-up which is slightly okay because I was planning on doing a first-half-of-the-year wrap up anyway which is only a week and half late right now so that'll be coming asap.

Also, to all the author to whom I promised reviews in the month of May (and Olivia who manages the review chain I'm a part of and of which I've missed a review), I'll get to them as soon as I can!  I've never really had a true blogging or reading slump so it'll take me just a little bit to get back into everything.

Now, onto my mountain of an inbox and the 50/50 Friday's!

Friday, June 16, 2017

50/50 Friday (37): Favorite/Least Favorite Book Read in the First Half of the Year


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Favorite/Least Favorite Book Read in the First Half of the Year

Favorite:

This is so hard!!  Why did I even suggest this topic?  I'm going to list three here because I can't even decide...


The Queen of the Tearling #3

Goodreads Blurb:
"In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.

And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.

To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.

So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will be revealed...

With The Fate of the Tearling, Erika Johansen draws her unforgettable story full of magic and adventure to a thrilling close."


This is the last book in the series and I read it back in April.  I rated it 5 stars (obviously) and loved pretty much every minute of it!  It's just such a deep book (and series in general) and the ending is so unexpected and sad and tragic and perfect; I just loved it!  If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend it!  You do need a little patience because it's a very slow burn type of series but it's completely worth the wait.

See my review HERE.



Caraval #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"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."


I read this in April as well (April was a lovely month) and loved it!  The atmosphere is perfectly achieved and world is so magical and mystical and wonderful.  It's also pretty dark and unsettling which is partly why I love it so much.  I can't wait for the next one to be released!

See my review HERE.



Hercule Poirot #13

Goodreads Blurb:
"There's a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way through the alphabet. And as a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim's corpse the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place. Having begun with Andover, Bexhill and then Churston, there seems little chance of the murderer being caught - until he makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans."


I've been really getting into Agatha Christie's books lately and it all started at the beginning of this year!  This is one of the first books I read this year by her.  I finished it in January and have been devouring her books ever since!  I had previously read And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express but I had forgotten how much I love her writing.  This is one of those books that really makes you think and has all the wonders of Hercule Poirot.

See my review HERE.



Least Favorite:

I've had three books that I've rated with 2 stars (part of my attempt to spread out my ratings a little although I'm still not really giving out any 1 star ratings) so I'll be listing them all here since one doesn't really stand out from the others.


The Red Era #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Athens was once the cradle of civilization. Now it's slowly but surely becoming the tomb of humanity.

The Red Plague, a violent virus which had run rampant decades ago, left its imprint on the planet and the flesh of men. All that remains of the modern world is an endless wasteland of ruins—Erebos—and two cities—Elysion, the obscure island of the Non-Infecteds about which no one knows a thing, and, Tartaros, the crumbling town of the Infecteds where despair, hatred, violence and poverty are the operative words.

And at the heart of this universe lives Irisya, a sixteen-year-old Non-Infected girl, staying recluse in her home to be safe and relying on her brother, Memphis, for everything.

But then, one day, he disappears without a trace.

Irisya has no choice. To save him, to survive, she will have to brave all the dangers of the outside world."


I was one of the few people who didn't really enjoy this for several reasons.  One, I couldn't get past the unrealities of the character's actions.  Two, the romance changed course dramatically and abruptly.  And three, I didn't think the world was developed enough.  I read this back in May.

See my review HERE.



Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"The United States is under siege!
A devastating new bacterial disease sweeps across the states on the west coast and saps its victims of their own free will. Four strangers must work together to survive a mad dash across the United States to find safety in the nation’s capital. The outbreak chases them from their homes on the west coast, and they struggle to reach the capital before the disease does. When they arrive, danger rears its ugly head again, and the four must race against time to save not only themselves, but the entire country from destruction. The Departed is a story filled with the unlikeliest of heroes, who must find hope even when things look hopeless."


I also read this back in May and while it had so much potential, there just wasn't enough development of anything really.  The characters are pretty 2-dimensional, the plot was simplistic (albeit with some subplots nicely woven in), and the writing was pretty much telling and not enough showing.  Currently, I'm the only person to have reviewed it on Goodreads so I have no idea if I'm in the majority or not.

See my review HERE.


Escaping the Rainfield by Eliza Rich

Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"“April 12, 2003. “Beep. Beep. We interrupt your radio station to bring you this important message. The counties of… no. The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and southern portions of Iowa and Nebraska are in a Flood Warning.””

This was no typical flood warning. With eleven states expecting three to ten inches of rain for an unprecedented number of days, the United States was in a frenzy. Families were evacuating their hometowns in hopes of locating refuge on dry land, but Hannah Davis’ family thought that they could out wait the storm. When their panicked Grandmother reaches out to them, requesting help, they find themselves fighting the weather and time to rescue her. As if that wasn’t enough, shortly after joining forces with two of Hannah’s classmates, Adrian and Ophelia, they come face to face with a gang that wants Adrian dead. As the days go by the family grows increasingly wary whether or not they will reach their Grandmother in time. Will the Davis’ be able to come together to outwit the storm and its surrounding catastrophes? Or will Hannah’s affection for Adrian put her family in more danger than it is worth?"



This book sounded so good from the blurb that I just knew I would enjoy it.  It sounds so different, right?  So many dystopias follow the same track and this one picked a different disaster.  In any case, the characters continued to baffle me, the setting was constantly blurry, and the constant mention of religion all turned me off to the book by the halfway mark.  Most of the reviews settle around the 3 star mark so I'm just slightly lower than the majority.

See my review to HERE.



So there you have it!  It's been a pretty mixed year so far, that's for sure.  What have been your favorite and least favorite books of the past year?  Have you read any of the books I have?  Make a post and link up down below!



Next Week's Topic: Favorite/Least Favorite Format of Books (HC, PB, ebook, etc)

Friday, June 9, 2017

50/50 Friday (36): Best/Worst Place to Read

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

I'm finally on time for once!  This is me getting my life back on track...

Today's Topic: Best/Worst Place to Read

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review Thursday: Numbers Ignite by Rebecca Rode


Numbers Game #2

Goodreads Blurb:
"Treena and Vance think they’ve escaped the numbers game forever. They’re wrong.

After Treena’s disastrous attempt to unite the nation, she has the deaths of hundreds haunting her dreams. Now, with hatred and accusations following her past the border, she’s determined to leave that horrible day behind and find a peaceful, uneventful life with Vance and the settlers. But when she starts seeing mysterious figures hiding in the abandoned cities at night and uncovers a strange desert population, she realizes there’s a danger much greater than NORA to worry about—and she just abandoned her people to their fate.

Vance is a prisoner. Being rejected by the girl he loves and put on trial for betraying his clan are bad enough, but now he’s been framed for a crime he never committed. Their less-than-perfect refuge has become the political game of a madman, and Vance is the only one who can stop it—if he can keep from being executed first.

Treena and Vance are still very much in the game, and this time it will take everything they have to save those they love."

Friday, June 2, 2017

50/50 Friday (35): Best/Worst Book Read in May

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

I've figured out the coding issues!  Cue the momentous applause!  I do now have to contend with 15 extra hours added onto my already full work schedule, though, so I'll be a little late for the next week or two before everything gets back to normal.  I'm trying to be a little more proactive about scheduling posts and paying attention to review deadlines.

Today's Topic: Best/Worst Book Read in May

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Review Wednesday: The Departed by Chase McCown


Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"The United States is under siege!
A devastating new bacterial disease sweeps across the states on the west coast and saps its victims of their own free will. Four strangers must work together to survive a mad dash across the United States to find safety in the nation’s capital. The outbreak chases them from their homes on the west coast, and they struggle to reach the capital before the disease does. When they arrive, danger rears its ugly head again, and the four must race against time to save not only themselves, but the entire country from destruction. The Departed is a story filled with the unlikeliest of heroes, who must find hope even when things look hopeless."


Friday, May 26, 2017

50/50 Friday (34): Most Deep/Shallow Book in the Fantasy Genre

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Mehhhhhhh.  Okay so remember the frustration from last week?  That frustration is still very present.  I don't know what is up with Blogger but it's been getting worse and I'm having serious thoughts about switching to Wordpress.  I'll probably stick it out for now because I'm super busy working and trying to get everything set for next school year and I'm also ridiculously behind on R&R's and reading in general.  So.  I've also been in a huge reading and blogging slump recently and have the desire to do nothing but work and watch Netflix.  So there are many emails.  Never fear!  I shall defeat this!

Today's Topic: Most Deep/Shallow Book in the _____ genre (your choice) (message/fluff)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review Wednesday: Kepler One - The Choosing by T.P. Keane


Indication of continuation of the series

Goodreads Blurb:
"The radiation on Earth is killing everyone Zoe Ruthland cares about. After winning the Lottery, she is the only tier five citizen given a chance to start over on a new planet. Seen as unworthy, a criminal, many want her to fail. Zoe must survive training, and the other cadets, to secure her place on the Kepler One spacecraft. But something sinister lurks behind the Government’s plans to save humankind and Zoe has no idea that she is an integral part of it; that she is chosen for another reason."

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review Sunday: Poisoned Iris by Cindy Mezni


The Red Era #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Athens was once the cradle of civilization. Now it's slowly but surely becoming the tomb of humanity.

The Red Plague, a violent virus which had run rampant decades ago, left its imprint on the planet and the flesh of men. All that remains of the modern world is an endless wasteland of ruins—Erebos—and two cities—Elysion, the obscure island of the Non-Infecteds about which no one knows a thing, and, Tartaros, the crumbling town of the Infecteds where despair, hatred, violence and poverty are the operative words.

And at the heart of this universe lives Irisya, a sixteen-year-old Non-Infected girl, staying recluse in her home to be safe and relying on her brother, Memphis, for everything.

But then, one day, he disappears without a trace.

Irisya has no choice. To save him, to survive, she will have to brave all the dangers of the outside world."

Friday, May 19, 2017

50/50 Friday (33): Character Whose Life You'd Want/Not Want to Live

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Goodness.  For all my fellow Blogger users, do you ever have those times where the formatting simply REFUSES to work??  That has been me for the past 3 days.  You may have been wondering where this post has been hiding and it's all the HTML's fault!  I would fix the code and then when I would preview it, it would revert back to whatever hinky formatting it had before.  Links refused to be links, blue text felt like being red, the world ceased to make any kind of sense!  I had posts scheduled before hand (all my reviews), thank goodness, but not this post and look where that got me.  In any case, I've given up and there are no links in this post because why not.  I'll put them in later when the world isn't so against me.

Today's Topic: Character Whose Life You'd Want/Not Want to Live

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Author Post Thursday: Fred Holmes (ft. adventures in the Congo and other cool places)


Today I have something special for y'all!  I recently reviewed The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes and he graciously agreed to do an author post!  Fred Holmes has had the experience of adapting a screenplay into a book and has many years of experience in the film field.  We in the bookish community often talk about the struggles of adapting a book into a film but rarely is it ever brought up about the opposite!  Fred has had the unique experience of going through the process and has shared his process and what he learned below.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review Wednesday: Come Home by Lisa Scottoline


Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her---though it is stressful---and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.

But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own."


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Review Sunday: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas


A Court of Thorns and Roses #3

Goodreads Blurb:
"Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all."

Saturday, May 13, 2017

50/50 Friday (32): Character You'd Want/Not Want to Meet


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Character You'd Want/Not Want to Meet

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review Wednesday: The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen


The Queen of the Tearling #3

Goodreads Blurb:
"In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.

And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.

To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.

So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will be revealed...

With The Fate of the Tearling, Erika Johansen draws her unforgettable story full of magic and adventure to a thrilling close."

Sunday, May 7, 2017

ARC Review Sunday: It Started With Goodbye by Christina June


Release Date: May 9th, 2017
Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way."


Friday, May 5, 2017

50/50 Friday (31): Best/Worst Book Read in April


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Best/Worst Book Read in April

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April Wrap-Up


This year is moving way too fast.  Seriously.  I'm ridiculously behind on reading because of finals and exams and essays and a thousand other things I need to be doing.  I'm not ready for it to be May yet!  There was so much to be done in April that didn't get done!  Nevertheless, we have arrive on the doorstep of May and the revolution of the Earth will not slow.  So we beat on.  (if you caught the reference, we can be best friends until the end of time)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Music Monday (6)

Music Monday is a weekly event hosted by Lauren over at Always Me.  Every Monday, you share one or two of your favorite songs you've been enjoying that week to help other people discover new music!  Here are my picks for this week:

Sunday, April 30, 2017

R&R Review Sunday: Dragonkyn by Nathan Smith Jones


Standalone to date (slight indication of a sequel)

Goodreads Blurb:
"Marc Mondragon is your average teenager: always getting into trouble, crushing on the pretty girl in school. But when strange things begin happening to his body, Marc is thrust into a new world where dragons are no longer just fairytales. Now knowing he’s part dragon, Marc joins a group of Dragonkyn who call themselves Sorceron. As Marc discovers new powers within himself, he starts to wonder how much he can really trust his fellow Dragonkyn. After the leader of Sorceron orders the rest of the group to kill Marc, he flees. But when he discovers that people are going to attack the Sorceron, Marc is faced with a dilemma. Will he try to help the Dragonkyn who tried to kill him?"

Friday, April 28, 2017

50/50 Friday (30): World You'd Like/Not Like to Live In


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: World You'd Like/Not Like to Live In

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

R&R Review Wednesday: The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes


The Ugly Teapot #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world.

To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special.

Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do.

She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .

The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love."


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

R&R Review and Release Tuesday: Among the Flames by Shelby K. Morrison


Legend of the Liberator #2

Goodreads Blurb:
"After fleeing her home in Tharien with the Emperor's forces hot on her heels, Aia Wynnald has only one goal: To end the two-thousand-year-old discrimination against Benders—a race of beings like her, with a misunderstood gift. But when the Emperor’s Church of Mighty retaliates with a new threat, her noble plans are put on hold.

With her companion Cole Balain, a former enemy, by her side, Aia must halt the devastation triggered by her well-meaning actions. The only way she can fight the Church is with the help of a disenchanted group of rebel Benders who'd sooner submit to their fate than follow Aia's lead.

Can she inspire them to fight and work together to resolve this new crisis, or will her ingrained submissive nature bring her, and the Benders of Dyel, to their knees?"


Sunday, April 23, 2017

R&R Review and Giveaway Sunday: Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider

Amazon (free for Kindle today!) Goodreads  Barnes and Noble (free for Nook today!)

Jagged Scars #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she's the lone survivor.

Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy's strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.

The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult."


Friday, April 21, 2017

50/50 Friday (29): Favorite/Least Favorite Book in the Fantasy Genre


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Favorite/Least Favorite Book in the Fantasy Genre

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