February 2017 Wrap-Up

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This month was yet another good reading month. I think it’s a good idea to start the year strong, that way I can afford some slumps later. 

The titles take you to the book’s Goodreads page or my review if I have one. 


books-read

25615902George
by Alex Gino

This is a middle grade book about a trans girl named George who’s dying to play Charlotte in the school’s production of Charlotte’s Web. I listened to this on audio, and it was wonderful. I love that George knows all along who she is and that she’s trans, it’s just a matter of getting other people to understand  that she’s a girl. 

5/5 stars

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26836003Orbiting Jupiter
by Gary D. Schmidt

Oh man, open the flood gates. This is another short middle grade novel, but the themes are mature and this easily slides into young adult/teen territory. I won’t say much about what it’s about here, but you can read my review of the ARC if you’re interesting. It’s an incredibly emotional book that will leave you in a pile on the floor screaming WHYYYY. 

4.5/5 stars

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Just as beautiful as the last: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater [REVIEW]

17370618The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater
Series: The Raven Cycle#2
First published in September 2013
Tags: Young Adult, Fantasy

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N

Source: Purchased
Rating:  photo five stars_zpsr2o5iiuv.png

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

This series, guys. This series. This is the type of thing I wish I could write. 

I don’t know what to say about this to be honest, because a lot of it will just be echoing my review of The Raven Boys, because the plot is still just as fantastic, the writing is just as stunning, and the characters are just as lovable. I don’t have any superlatives left. 

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WWW Wednesday: February 22 2017

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Hey guys! How are you all today? 

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Samantha @ Taking On a World of Words where you answer the following questions: 

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

currently-reading

                            kepler the hypnotist     26236898

I’m still listening to Lars Kepler’s The Nightmare on audio, I’m about halfway now. I’m only listening to it in the mornings while I get ready for work so that’s why it’s taking me some time but I’m enjoying it. 

Then I did the Try a Chapter tag and decided to read More Happy Than Not. It’s been lying around on my kindle for ages so it was about time. I’m loving it so much, I had no idea it was (light) sci-fi! Also wow, it’s so tragic. I’m literally only about 10 minutes away from finishing it, and I’ll do it as soon as I’ve posted this.  

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Bird Box is the last book I finished and YES. I loved it, I devoured it whole. This is the book for you if you’re into post-apocalyptic scenarios where a group of survivors huddle together and try to get by, ala The Walking Dead just without zombies. It’s also a book for you if you like being creeped the hell out. And because it’s not YA there’s no boy drama or love triangles to steal the attention. Read it. 

reading-next

                               17378508    30649795

I haven’t quite decided yet, I’m a major mood reader, but it might be time for Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3).  My body is ready to continue this series. I have some ARCs I need to get to as well though, like Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. 


Have you read any of these? What are you currently reading? 

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Book vector by Freepik

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed More Than I Thought I Would

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I haven’t done a TTT in ages! These lists tend to get repetitive if you do too many of them but I really wanted to do this one.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Today’s theme is a “Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would (recently or all time)“. I decided to go with books I enjoyed more, as I’ve talked a lot about disappointing books lately, haha. 


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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I only picked this up because of work, I didn’t think it would end up being my kind of book, but it was so so good. This is a modern classic about a girl growing up in Brooklyn and it’s just stunning, the characters really got to me. I ended up giving it five stars. 


The Shining by Stephen King

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I didn’t expect to like this one so much because while I liked Carrie I wasn’t in love with it, and everyone keeps saying they like the movie version better. Well, this book is so much better than its movie, trust me. I ended up devouring all  600-something pages. It has some really creepy moments, but what I liked the most was the character explorations and just the overall setting.

Has anyone read Doctor Sleep? Even though I loved The Shining I’m not sure if I want to read that one. 

4 stars. 

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Try a Chapter Tag

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I found this tag while bouncing around different booktube videos and stumbled across this video by the wonderful BooksandLala. It’s a pretty old tag by now, but I like the idea of it so I’m doing it. I have so many books I’ve been wanting to read but I have a hard time choosing, I’m so indecisive. This tag will help me decide.

The original creator is BookParadise on YouTube. 

RULES:

  1. Pick 5 (or more) books from your tbr
  2. Read the first chapter of all of them (including the prologue if there is one)
  3. Tell your readers if you’re sold on the book and what you thought of the first chapter. Are you going to finish the book this month?

What I decided to do was pick five books that have been on my tbr for too long, because what is happening now is that the books I bought a long time ago are just being forgotten because there are so many new books I’m excited about. Then I’m going to do what Lala did in her video and pick one “winner”, i.e. finish the book I think seems the most interesting based on the first chapter. I’ll finally read one of the books I’ve had sitting around for ages, maybe years. Yay!

Here are the books I’ll read the first chapter of. As I’m writing this I still haven’t started reading them. 

I bought this one forever ago because I stumbled across the hardcover in a bookstore, which is so rare with English books here, but it’s just been gathering dust on my bookshelf ever since. I don’t know the details of what it’s about, but something about a fantasy version of ancient Rome? Slaves? I think it’s a dystopian series? Maybe?

This was originally on my “will read in 2016” list. Well… That didn’t happen. I’ll read the first chapter and see if I’m going to finish it this month or nah. The premise seems really dark and a bit hard for me to explain, so I recommend just reading the Goodreads synopsis. 

I’ve been wanting to get on this series forever, you guys. I desperately want to read Six of Crows but I feel like I can’t because I haven’t read the Grisha trilogy. 

Adam Silvera is an author I really want to read, he seems to write really beautiful and heartbreaking books which is just right up my alley. And this has been on my kindle for ages, I just need to kick myself and get to it. 

I know there’s something about twins in this, and them finding back to each other after having fallen out or lost touch or something like that. Apparently the writing style is very different as well, which can be a hit or a miss… 

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I don’t get the hype: Caraval by Stephanie Garber [REVIEW]

27883214Caraval by Stephanie Garber
First published in January 2017
Tags: Young Adult, Fantasy

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N 

Source: FairyLoot subscription box 

Rating:  photo two stars_zpsbcb0mxir.png

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.


Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved 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 far-away, 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. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

I don’t know, you guys, I’m the black sheep again.

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This one just didn’t live up to the hype. I actually really disliked it for the most part and I’m having trouble understanding the hype at all. 

Sometimes I dislike books but still understand why people love them, like A Darker Shade of Magic. Those books aren’t bad at all, I was just personally bored by them for some reason. With this though… I think it’s a bad book. If you like it that’s great, I wish I did, but just… no. 

To make sure this review won’t be five hundred miles long, I’m just going to do it mostly in list form in the hopes that it will shorten it a little. 

But first, in case you didn’t bother reading the long synopsis, here’s the short version. Scarlett and Tella live with their controlling and abusive father. For years since she was a child, Scarlett’s been sending letters to Legend, the master of the legendary Caraval, a magical performance/game that changes locations every year, asking him to please bring Caraval to their island so she can experience the magic. Then suddenly one year, she receives a personal invitation from Legend himself. But once at Caraval, accompanied by a mysterious and hunky sailor, Tella disappears, and Scarlett realizes the game revolves around getting Tella back alive. 

Alright, so that’s a pretty interesting premise. A magical game that may or may not have life or death consequences. Alright, I’m on board. But it fell so very flat. 

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Atmospheric and haunting: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson [REVIEW]

we-have-alwaysWe Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
First published in 1962
Tags: Adult, Classics, Gothic, Horror

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N 

Source: Purchased

Rating:  photo four stars_zps2ktftgcp.png

Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.

First off I just have to say how much I love this particular edition of the book. The cover is beautiful and creepy, and the edges of the pages are frayed so they look old and worn. Gorgeous. My original plan with this had been to get it on my kindle, but I was powerless to resist it when I saw it in a bookstore. RIP wallet. 

Second, this is such an atmospheric book. It’s beautiful and gothic, but don’t be mistaken, this book (probably) won’t scare you, it’s not that kind of horror book. The horror is subtle and psychological, you won’t find anything supernatural here. If you go into it expecting that then you might be disappointed. It left me with a haunting feeling. 

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