Tag: read

Because You Love to Hate Me Review

Because You Love to Hate Me, edited by Ameriie

51hnhs2bg8hl-_sx327_bo1204203200_Summary

Leave it to the heroes to save the world–villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon,Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon
BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).

Summary from Goodreads

My Thoughts

Because You Love to Hate Me was one of my most anticipated books to read in the year of 2017, and I really enjoyed it. I’m not the type of person to rate each individual story in an anthology separately, but I will list some of my favorites: The Sea Witch, by Marissa Meyer; Shirley and Jim, by Susan Dennard; Sera, by Nicola Yoon; Death Knell, by Victoria Schwab; The Blood of Imuriv, by Renee Ahdieh. There were some stories that disappointed me, but overall I really enjoyed this anthology. I also appreciated the variety of perspectives and genres! We has stories told from third person, second, and first! It was so much fun to discover new authors that I may have never heard of or read, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading. In fact, I read this book in only two sittings over the course of two days–that’s saying something! Overall, I give BYLTHM 4/5 stars!

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The Office Book Tag

The Office Book Tag

91tmr1v-qrl-_ri_Hi everyone! I’m here to do my first tag on the blog! I just finished The Office, and I’m a literal ball of emotions. In honor of my adoration of the show, I’m doing the book tag. I’ve only ever seen this done on the Bookable’s YouTube Channel.

 

 

TAG QUESTIONS:
1. Michael Scott – Book that tried WAY too hard: That Summer, by Sarah Dessen. The book tried too hard to be meaningful and powerful, but didn’t really have that element.
2. Dwight Schrute – Book that ended up being a lot more complex than you thought it would be: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre was a seemingly simple, fun contemporary. After finishing it, I was so in awe of the message! Totally recommend.
3. Jim Halpert – YOU in a book. Book/character that you related to a ton: Putting aside the obvious Hermione Granger, I’m going with Ava from I Hate Everyone But You, by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin! The anxiety rep was so well-done, and I just related to this character so much!
4. Pam Beesly – Seriously underrated but amazing book you wish everyone would read: I have to pick Roseblood, by A.G. Howard! It’s so beautifully written and has the best characters and an intricate plot!
5. Ryan Howard – THE INTERN. Debut novel that impressed you: There are so many! I suppose I will choose The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renee Ahdieh. I’m pretty sure it was her first book, and it was so magical and beautifully written.
6. Andy Bernard – ANNOYING book/character that you can’t help but love (or not): An annoying character that I loved was probably Celeste from The Selection series by Kiera Cass!
7. Robert California – Book/character/plot that went over your head or was really confusing: I honestly hated Robert (oops). I really loved The Last of August by Brittney Cavallaro, but the last scene in the book went over my head and was confusing!

8. Angela Martin – Book with a plot that didn’t appeal to you at first but you ended up loving: I love Angela, and I think I have to go with Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo) or City of Bones (Cassandra Clare)! I DNF’d both the first time around, and upon picking them up again I fell in love.

9. Kelly Kapoor – Favorite sassy character: Will Herondale, from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. I love him more than anything.
10. Kevin Malone – Book that features music: The first that came to mind was This Savage Song, by Victoria Schwab! Music plays an important part in the duology–go read it!
11. Phyllis Lapin – Book that made you feel warm and fuzzy: The entire To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han. Such a great trilogy.
12. Oscar Martinez – Book that has an awesome LGBT character that defies stereotypes: Renegades, by Marissa Meyer. Superheroes. All I’m saying.
13. Stanley Hudson – Character/book that DGAF: Hm…Can I say Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer? He does, but he doesn’t. I love Thorne, and he has to be mentioned.
14. Meredith Palmer – Book you couldn’t stomach (too graphic/violent/romantic/vulgar – or whatever your reason!): The Spectacular Now, by Tim Tharp. I honestly hated this book, the main character, everything. It was too much. Just too much.
15. Creed Bratton – Book/series that only ever made you ask more questions: I feel as if every Cassandra Clare book/series leaves me wanting more from the Shadowhunter world, so I’m going to go with TID, TDA, and TMI, because they all apply.

So that’s my The Office tag! I’d love to know who you guys would choose for Creed Bratton–he’s one of my favorites. If you love The Office, or just want to do this tag, then go for it! I’d love to check out your version, so be sure to let me know.

The Astonishing Color of After Review

The Astonishing Color of After, by Emily X. R. Pan

35604686Summary

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

Summary from Goodreads.

My Thoughts

Thank you to TheNovl for sending me a copy for review.

The Astonishing Color of After was one of the most thought-provoking, powerful novels I’ve read in a very long time. Our main character, Leigh, really captures what it’s like to be a teenager in the 21st century, battling family time, friendships, art, and school in addition to life in general. In the beginning of the story, we find out that while her mother was dying, she was kissing her best friend, Axel. Because of her newfound desire to learn more about her grandparents, she and her father visit them in Taiwan. There, Leigh discovers a lot about her family’s past.

The family dynamics really took the front seat in this novel, and that was possibly my favorite element. We don’t often see what it’s like to be a normal family that argues, forgives, and loves. The author really took an average family and showed it to the readers! Leigh struggles with her relationships in terms of her parents, and that’s shown really well. Even the friendships we see are accurate: Axel and Leigh’s relationship is so well done, and reflects what I see and do in terms of my own life. I’ve gushed about the characters so much, because they seem like such real people. The dialogue, the way they think and behave–it’s all so familiar.

The story is not quite magical-realism, but it does have a hint of something fantastical, and I really enjoyed this aspect of the story. It was an unexpected, but still enjoyed, addition. The setting itself is so vivid. In the majority of the novel, we are set in Taiwan. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story focused here before, and it was so interesting to see portayed! Even regular things, like apartment buildings and food, were described so well.

Finally, I must compliment the writing style. The story was told so beautifully–in vivid colors and beautiful music. Throughout the novel, we go back and forth between past memories and present day. Usually, transitions in situations like these confuse me, but the flips back and forth were done well, and fit well in terms of what was going on.

Emily tells a beautiful story that must be heard by all, because it fits so well into today’s society and today’s real people. 4.5/5 stars.

Love & Gelato Review

Love & Gelato, by Jenna Evans Welch

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Summary

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

 

My Thoughts

Love & Gelato was a very fun, fast read. First off, I absolutely loved the setting! Discovering a taste of Italy through the novel really added to the culture and structure, and I’m so glad that it took place there! I also liked how the author primarily focused on the good in Lina’s life, but there was also the dark undertone that set the mood and pace of the story. In addition, I thought that the journal entries from Lina’s mother’s diary was a very nice touch. We follow Lina’s mother adventure in Italy, in addition to the one our main character is having present-day. However, I did have two problems with the story, the first being the fact that our characters weren’t as fleshed out as I would have liked. I really enjoy having a character who seems real, and with this story I didn’t have that feeling with either our main character or love interest. The other setback from five stars was the fact that sometimes the writing seemed a little average, but then other occasions it was very meaningful! I absolutely loved the passages that had this depth to them.

 

Overall, Love & Gelato was a very enjoyable read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a fun contemporary with ad bit of a darker mood. I gave it 3/5 stars.

Eliza and Her Monsters Review

Eliza and Her Monsters, by  Francesca Zappia 

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Summary: 

Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

 

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoy

 

ing the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

My Thoughts:

Eliza and Her Monsters was a powerful novel, in my opinion. I’d like to first talk about the pacing. In the beginning of the story, this novel just seemed like another contemporary. After getting around 150 pages in, more happened. We started seeing our characters deal with stress and admitting their weaknesses and their struggles, and that’s when the novel kicked off for me. That’s when I couldn’t stop reading. I read this book in two sittings, which hasn’t happened for me in a long time, and I’m so greatful for that. Secondly, I’d like to talk about our characters. Eliza was a great protagonist. She was introverted, more comfortable online rather than off. Her relationship with her siblings and parents wasn’t strong, and she didn’t have friends in school. Seeing her develop throughout the story by making friends and being more interactive with her family was such a nice touch. In lots of contemporaries, our main character is either close to their family throughout, or is distant throughout. With Eliza, she developed, which was so wonderful to read about, and it really made me think about my own relationship with friends and family. Next, I’m talking about  Monstrous Sea, our narrator’s webcomic. Throughout the novel, we get little screenshots and pieces of the web forum and of the story Eliza has created, much like Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, and I really liked this touch. The plot of MS was a little confusing for me, but I did enjoy seeing the snippets of it, as well as the illustrations. And, finally, I’m talking mental health. The idea of mental health in novels is still new to me. I don’t read many mental health novels, but when I do I enjoy them! So when Eliza struggled with anxiety, I felt like the book took on a new meaning for me. I can’t say how accurate the portrayal of anxiety is because I don’t suffer from it, but I did find that this added to the novel, and really made the story for me.

 

 

 

Overall, I loved Eliza and Her Monsters. I related to Eliza because she is a fangirl, she does have problems, she does write and sometimes she loses inspiration for her art. All of these aspects made her relatable and enjoyable to read about. I blew through Eliza, reading it in a day or so (385 pages), and I would say pick it up ASAP! 4.5/5 stars!

Melody’s Key Review

30807954Melody’s Key, by Dallas Coryell

*I was sent an e-book copy of this book by the author for free in return for an honest review*

Brief Summary

Tegan lives with her family, spending her days helping out with her family’s struggling business, making music, and reading letters of past lovers. Her life has fallen into the same routine, until a popular American musician shows up and turns her life around.

My Thoughts

This book took me forever to read, simply because it was a little slow at the beginning. This offset the book for me for a while, but then I picked it up about a week before finishing it and just powered through and LOVED IT!!

First thing I’d like to mention is the author’s writing, which I think is beautiful. All actions were described so beautifully and I just thought it added so much to the story. I also loved both our male and female main characters! I really got a good “look” at them; I felt their hobbies were outlined well, and I knew what the characters’ physical traits were, which I appreciate.
Finally, I want to mention the story line in general. I hardly read any purely romance novels, but I enjoyed this one. I loved the element of family that our main character had! She was so close with her sister and her parents were supportive of all of their children. I also loved the setting! I don’t read many books set in Europe, but this one was and I liked seeing that!

I’m not a huge romance reader, but I will say that this was a nice “introduction” to romance for readers like me, and I would definitely recommend it!

May 2017 Wrap-Up

Welcome to my first Wrap-Up on my page! This is for May 2017, aka the Month of New Releases. (I mean seriously?! ACOWAR, Always and Forever Lara Jean, Flame in the Mist…so many!) Below, there will be a short summary of my time reading the book, the book’s information, and a picture. These books are in order from read first to read last. Let’s go!

Fast Facts

Total Pages: 2,570

Number of Books Read: 6

Average Star Rating: 4.2

A Cacowar_usourt of Wings and Ruin, by Sarah J Maas 

Obviously I had to read ACOWAR, and I loved this conclusion! I really loved the growth in each of the characters, their banter, the fighting scenes, and the love affairs. There are some problems with this series, and I don’t ignore that, however the series is just so fun to read, the characters are just so fun to “be around” and they have so many aspects. I will say that some scenes in ACOWAR seemed added in with no previous planning, but overall the series is wonderful, the world is wonderful, the characters are wonderful, and I love it. Of course, I gave it 5/5 stars!

The Ups30653853ide of Unrequited, by Becky Albertalli 

I received this book in the April Owlcrate box and it seemed like just the perfect summery/springy read. A few aspects I loved? Definitely that our main character loved Pinterest and just making things and being generally creative and artistic, which is not a common interest in books. Another was that this book talked about things that teenagers talk about, and mentioned troubles that teenagers had. Our main character didn’t have the Stereotypical Book Body, she occasionally struggled with body image, but she was overall proud. Our love interest wasn’t perfect either–he was nerdy and awkward and overall similar to boys in real life (or at least as close as book boyfriends can get). There was lots of diversity in this book: our main character has lesbian parents (two moms) and a lesbian sister. Overall, this book was great and I gave it 4/5 stars. (I do have a review up for this book)

Flame23308087 in the Mist, by Renee Ahdieh

I won an ARC of this book in a giveaway and I’m so glad I did! This book was said to be a Mulan retelling, which is fairly accurate, despite the fact that it takes place in Japan. I really loved exploring the culture of Japan! It was so interesting to learn more about a country that isn’t talked about a lot in books, and I’m very appreciative of this story because of that. Moving on from the setting, I thought the characters were so intense and likable! Our main character is fierce and brave and determined and stubborn. Our love interest is a bit Bad Boy, but overall this book didn’t have very many tropes. Another thing I appreciated was that the romance wasn’t the main focus. The point was our MC being determined and brave. It isn’t usual for our relationship to sit in the backseat, but I really loved that it wasn’t the main point in this story. I’m really excited for the next book! I gave it 4/5 stars! (I have a review for this as well)

It’s Not Sum8104232mer Without You, by Jenny Han

This book is the second installment in the Summer trilogy by Jenny Han. This series, while fun, does deal with intense stuff! I won’t talk much about it, but I will say that the story takes place at a beach house when our MC, Belly, stays at the house with her mother, her mother’s best friend & children, and brother. The series follows the adventures of the group at the summer house–it is set mainly in the present but does float back to the past to give a full perspective. I just love this series because it deals with equal parts, friendship, family, tragedy, and love. I won’t spoil anything, but I do recommend the series! I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Passe20983362nger, by Alexandra Bracken

In Passenger, we follow our main character, Etta, who is on her way to becoming a professional violinist, but one day she is thrown into the world of time travel, but it isn’t as we suspected. There are much more strict rules, and the travel itself isn’t as loose as we interpret from other series/movies. I really enjoyed my time reading this first book, and I look forward to moving on with the series. We explore London in the 1940s, New York in 1776, and many other places. I loved the aspect of a scavenger hunt through time! I gave this book 4/5 stars and look forward to reading the next book!

 

Windfall32048554, by Jennifer E. Smith

This book was unique and I really enjoyed it! I thought the aspect of a lottery ticket really added to the story! The way that our love interest/supporting character spent the money, and the way he acted, was completely expected and understandable. I loved how his best friends acted around him in return. Winning the lottery is a dream come true for a lot of people, but the consequences of such a huge sum isn’t truly thought about in depth. I thought this book was an accurate interpretation of how someone who grew up poor would react to 141.3 million dollars. Overall, this book was very enjoyable. I loved the character growth and the fact that our character had a unique hobby of being a good Samaritan. This is my first Jennifer E Smith book, but I’ll likely pick up another one eventually. 4/5 stars.