Posted in Community, meme

Mid-Week Update

Just giving a brief update as to what I’m reading or planning on reading via a couple bookish memes.

whatareyoureadingwed

First up, What Are You Reading Wednesdays hosted by It’s a Reading Thing.

Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

Funnily enough, I started my current read last week after writing up the Shelf Control meme. It sounded so good to me, that I just couldn’t put it off another day. I’m currently reading The Affinity Bridge by George Mann. From page 34:

“This bruising suggests the victim was grabbed forcefully around the throat and struggled somewhat before finally being despatched. There’s nothing of the perpetrator left at the scene, but it certainly matches the profile of the other killings.”

Based on this passage, I wouldn’t choose to live in this world. Seems awfully dangerous. However, in general, I would love the chance to live in a steampunk version of Victorian England. It’s a time in history that I find vastly interesting and it’d be enhanced with steampunk inventions.

shelf-control

My book for this week’s Shelf Control is Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.

Blurb:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

I bought this book at Barnes & Noble somewhere around June 2015. Honestly, I bought it because it’s a Rainbow Rowell book and because it’s a signed copy. If you’re familiar with Rowell’s books, you know that Carry On was taken from her Fangirl novel. In Fangirl, the main character is obsessed with a Harry Potter-like series of books and there were quite a few passages (that I skimmed more than read.) taken from those “books” and quoted in Fangirl. So, Rowell took those fictional characters from within a fictional world and wrote Carry On as its own story. From the very first, I thought that Simon and Baz’s world sounded too much like a spin off of Harry Potter’s world and it doesn’t sound too original. As such, I really don’t have any plans on actually reading this book. It was more of a buy for collecting reasons than because I’m interested in the story. Who knows though? Someday…

 

 

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Posted in Book Review, Reading

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

Title:  The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

Author:  Chelsea Sedoti

Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

Pages:  400

Genre:  Teens & YA, Contemporary, Mystery

Setting:  Small town in Ohio

Source:  Net Galley

Release Date:  Jan 3, 2017

Blurb:

Hawthorn wasn’t trying to insert herself into a missing person’s investigation. Or maybe she was. But that’s only because Lizzie Lovett’s disappearance is the one fascinating mystery their sleepy town has ever had. Bad things don’t happen to popular girls like Lizzie Lovett, and Hawthorn is convinced she’ll turn up at any moment-which means the time for speculation is now.

So Hawthorn comes up with her own theory for Lizzie’s disappearance. A theory way too absurd to take seriously…at first. The more Hawthorn talks, the more she believes. And what better way to collect evidence than to immerse herself in Lizzie’s life? Like getting a job at the diner where Lizzie worked and hanging out with Lizzie’s boyfriend. After all, it’s not as if he killed her-or did he?

Told with a unique voice that is both hilarious and heart-wrenching, Hawthorn’s quest for proof may uncover the greatest truth is within herself.

From Me:

From the blurb, this book sounds like it’s more about Hawthorn solving the mystery of Lizzie’s murder, but for me, this book was simply about Hawthorn.

I loved the voice that Sedoti gives this 17 year old girl. It could’ve been me in high school and me even now as an adult sometimes. I didn’t have it quite so rough as Hawthorn, but I relate to the introvertish tendencies that Hawthorn has and her need to escape into stories. I laughed and cried and at one point, I picked the very wrong moment in the book to have to pee in the middle of the night and creeped myself out, lol. (I read this book in one sitting, finishing it at 3:20 am in bed.)

I really don’t have much to say about this book outside of how I felt about it. Well, one thing:  I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did considering that it’s Sedoti’s freshmen book. It didn’t read like that at all. Her writing is polished and her dialogue is unique and real. Hawthorn was one of the most real characters I’ve ever read.

Posted in Community

Cover Reveal! Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers

(Disclaimer:  I was approached by the author to participate in her cover reveal. I received no compensation to do so. I am in no way affiliated with the author or the publisher of this book.)

This is something totally new to this blog. I am participating in Olivia Rivers’ cover reveal for her upcoming YA novel. I have not read the book, but the blurb sounds fun and I love supporting budding authors. Olivia is also hosting a giveaway for a $15 Amazon giftcard and 2 hardcover YA novels.a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tone Deaf

Title: Tone Deaf

Author: Olivia Rivers

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Release Date: May 3, 2016

About the Book: For child prodigy Ali Collins, music was life. All that changes when a brain tumor lands her in a silent nightmare, controlled by her physically abusive father and the deafness she’ll never get used to. When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she reluctantly accepts the prize, only to be kicked out. Jace Beckett, the lead singer of the pop-punk band, refuses to even speak to Ali because she is deaf.

Ali threatens to report Jace’s discrimination, but ends up agreeing to keep quiet in exchange for money. With a bit of cash, she can escape to New York and get away from her father. Then Jace notices her fresh bruises and changes the offer, claiming he’ll use his influence and connections to help Ali escape. But even when Jace reveals a baffling fluency in American Sign Language, she can’t bring herself to trust him.

When Ali’s dad crosses a new line, she’s driven to accept Jace’s offer despite her fears. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nation-wide tour. As weeks pass, the members of Tone Deaf start to resemble a quirky little family. Then there’s Jace. Ali can’t figure out his mood swings, but she knows she’s falling for the passionate and secretive musician. Jace’s hardened attitude melts away more with every mile they travel, and Ali finds herself ever closer to understanding his attitude towards the deaf. But when tragedy strikes, Ali must decide between walking away from Tone Deaf, or sacrificing her freedom to save Jace and his band.

Olivia Rivers

About the Author: Olivia Rivers is a hybrid author of Young Adult fiction. Her works include the independently published “Tortured Elements” and “Duplicity” series, along with the traditionally published novel “Tone Deaf” (Skyhorse 2016.) As a certified geek, she enjoys experimenting with new publishing technologies, and her online serials have received over 1,000,000 hits on Wattpad.com. When Olivia isn’t working as a writer, she’s a typical teen attending college in Northern California. Olivia is represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary, and nothing thrills her more than hearing from readers.

Posted in Reading Roundup

What I Read in September 2015

September-Reads

I had a pretty good month of reading. My favorite, by far, was The Martian by Andy Weir. My least favorite was The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. I feel bad saying that because this novel was an ARC that isn’t due out until January. It wasn’t a bad book, per se. But, I’m not sad that I don’t own a copy of this for my bookshelf. I rated it 2 of 5 stars on Goodreads. What I said there is all I’m going to say about it.

Also on my September list:

  • The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
  • It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
  • Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan (reread)
  • Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
  • The New Hunger by Isaac Marion

I feel like I’m leaving something out, but oh well. Ten books for the month of September isn’t too shabby, especially considering the volume of reading I’ve had to read about museums for my class. I also started volunteering at a museum this month too.

Posted in Book Review

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners

Title:  The Diviners

Author:  Libba Bray

Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company 2012

Pages:  578

Genre:  Science Fiction, Young Adult

Setting:  New York City in the 1920s

Blurb:

Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us?
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfurled in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened….
Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray opens a brand-new historical series with The Diviners, where the glittering surface of the Roaring Twenties hides a mystical horror creeping across the country.

From Me:

Talk about immersive. Libba Bray is a fantastic storyteller. She knows how to create a world in which the reader effortlessly loses him or herself. From the streets of New York, to the speakeasies, to the museum, this novel is full of atmosphere. And the language! I often caught myself using the 1920s slang in conversation, lol. The reader has no choice but to be completely drawn into this story and the lives of the characters.

Evie, our protagonist, is all too ready to lose herself in the swinging 1920s of New York. She looks before she leaps and can be selfish and oblivious to others. But she has spirit and an irresistible quality to her that makes her likeable despite her obvious flaws. The one thing that kind of annoyed me about this book was that it was impossible to remember that Evie and all the other Diviners in the book are all 17 years old. They act, talk, and exude adult. Am I alone here? I think the only character that exhibited typical teenager-type behavior is Evie’s friend, Mabel. I’ll admit that I am far from being an expert on this time period. Maybe all 17 year olds in the 20s acted like they were 30.

My favorite parts of the book are the vignettes between scenes. Bray writes these atmospheric-setting episodes that are told from the point of view of the moonlight (just as an example) or from a character that we only see in these asides or from the inner thoughts of the main characters. They’re brilliant and set the eerie mood of this series. A very brief excerpt, “And as the walls began to whisper, he lost his footing on the precipice of reason and began the terrible fall into a hell beyond imagining.” Wow. Bray’s prose is so evocative.

I rated this book 4 out of 5 hearts simply because of the way in which the “kids” behave didn’t seem in line with their actual age and the fact that, at times, the book could be slow. However, these things certainly didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of this novel and I highly recommend.

4 Hearts

Posted in Book Review

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

Romancing the Dark

Title:  Romancing the Dark in the City of Light

Author:  Ann Jacobus

Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin’s Press)

Pages:  288

Genre:  Young Adult, Romance

Setting:  Modern day Paris

Blurb:

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on the right track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can’t shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer’s behavior manage to alienate everyone, even Moony, she’s forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that’ll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Ann Jacobus’ Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

From Me:  I read this novel as an ARC from NetGalley.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel when I began reading it. I always say that I read for pleasure and not to feel sad or depressed. The blurb, “she’s forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living” almost made me turn away from this book. Reading an angsty, teenagery-type book isn’t my idea of a good time. I’m happy that I didn’t judge this book by its cover.

Summer is struggling through her second attempt at her senior year of high school. Not only is school hard, but she’s virtually alone in a foreign city. Her attempt to make life more liveable is to find a boyfriend. What is more romantic than holding hands with someone special in Paris? She meets Moony, another senior at her new school, who doesn’t shy away from Summer’s sometimes harsh, in your face, attitude. Recognizing and appreciating this in him, Summer immediately begins falling for Moony.

Summer also meets Kurt. He is the best looking guy she’s ever had pay her any attention and she, again, feels an instant attraction. However, there’s something off about Kurt that Summer can’t quite put her finger on that makes her wary, not wary enough to stay away though.

Summer goes back and forth between these two very different men who each feed something in Summer that is missing.

I had a hard time putting this book down. I was pulled into Summer’s story and this book was full of the feels. I cried through a lot of it, and despite what I said earlier, that was okay. Some of the story was predictable, but I thought Jacobus also had a lot of clever twists and metaphors throughout the book.

Barnes and Noble puts this novel in the 12-17 age range. However, some of the themes are more mature and I would put this at the 14-19 age range. But, that’s just my personal opinion

4 Hearts