Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

 

 

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: September 23, 2014

In a future world of dust and ruin, fourteen-year-old Querry Genn struggles to recover the lost memory that might save the human race.

Querry is a member of Survival Colony Nine, one of the small, roving groups of people who outlived the wars and environmental catastrophes that destroyed the old world. The commander of Survival Colony Nine is his father, Laman Genn, who runs the camp with an iron will. He has to–because heat, dust, and starvation aren’t the only threats in this ruined world.

There are also the Skaldi.

Monsters with the ability to infect and mimic human hosts, the Skaldi appeared on the planet shortly after the wars of destruction. No one knows where they came from or what they are. But if they’re not stopped, it might mean the end of humanity.

Six months ago, Querry had an encounter with the Skaldi–and now he can’t remember anything that happened before then. If he can recall his past, he might be able to find the key to defeat the Skaldi.

If he can’t, he’s their next victim.

 

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – To be fair, this is one I probably really should read before the movie comes out, and it actually is on my TBR list.

dear-sugar-animated-short-400x3002. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – Yeah, I’m still on the 6th book, so it might take me a little bit before I get to the final one…which is a lot of people’s favorite!

3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – Just an overwhelmingly popular book that people keep telling me is awesome!

4. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on love and life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed – This one I already own and plan to read, as my best friend and roommate suggest that it is one of the best books she has ever read.

5. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – It is just a classic that deserves to be on my Read list.

Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed in WILD

6. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed – another Strayed book suggested to me by my roommate and best friend…and one I definitely want to read before the movie adaptation comes out.

7. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – I’ll be honest, I haven’t even seen the movie.  So who knows if I’ll ever get around to reading it!

8. The Shining by Stephen King – Yeah, not going to happen.  This book would scare the crap out of me!

9. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote – True crime and a serial killer? This is right up my alley.  Just need to buy a copy.

10. Game of Thrones books – George R. R. Martin – EVERYONE and their mother is telling me to read these.  Maybe eventually…right now I’m enjoying the show.

 

What are some books people keep telling you to read?

Book Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

I’ve been waiting for this book ever since Lindsay announced her book deal with Greenwillow Books what feels like forever ago.  Sure, a lot of the reason I was looking forward to it is that I’d followed her blog, twitter, and instagram for a long time, and that I’d fallen in love with the title (which makes me sound a little odd). I was super bummed I couldn’t get my hands on an ARC, but I was so excited that I preordered my copy months in advance.

This book was everything I wanted it to be and more.  Although I’m not going to lie, at first I thought the book was going to be focused on someone who had a “murder complex,” but after I read the synopsis I felt pretty dumb!

Anyway, the story is set in a somewhat dystopian future where the world was ravaged by a plague that killed pretty much everyone, and but a 17 year old developed a cure.  Granted, not by the narrator, but by a secondary character who ends up being pretty important.  I feel like that character must of been Sheldon Cooper smart.

So turns out there is this crazy oppressive Initiative that pretty much controls the population’s food rations and job levels by causing those who are around 16 years of age to go through a type of testing/murder test for a job.  I was a little bummed that this wasn’t more explained, it was just kind of glossed over.  The narrator goes through it, and then the focus of the story switches and we never really find out why it was established that way.  So, for book 2, can we get some answers?!

I read this book in less than 24 hours, and it was so much fun to read.  The concept of a dystopian nation being oppressed by an all seeing force isn’t exactly new, but the addition of The Murder Complex to the story really makes Cumming’s narrative extremely individual and fascinating.

Zephyr and Meadows relationship begins in a very confusing and odd way, but their resulting friendship, rivalry, and relationship could give any person on this roller coaster some whiplash.  I’ll tell you a secret though: I love roller coasters.  GO pick this up. I can’t wait for the next installment.

4.5 Bards for Lindsay Cummings! You go Lindsay Cummings.

four.fivebards

 

 

 

And none for Gretchen Weiners.

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

When I met E. Lockhart at Book Expo America, I was trying so hard not to fangirl because I had been looking forward to this book for months.  Not only did I get a chance to meet her, but she also write an essential message in my copy of the book (which I’m sure she wrote in everyone’s) “Please Lie About This Book.”

Well, it is impossible for me to lie about how much I enjoyed this book.  I want to tell you so much about it in order to convince you to read it, but this is a book that needs to be discovered by each person individually.  The story line is excellent.  There I will tell you that much.

Lockhart’s writing style in this novel really helps add to the characterization of the narrator, Cadence (which is a elockharttweetname I’ve always loved), and it allows the reader to discover things as Cadence does…kind of.  This novel really explores the idea of an unreliable narrator.

I’ve said too much!

I cannot praise this book highly enough, and I won’t tarnish your reading experience with anymore.  Trust me, you will enjoy it immensely.

5 Bards  (I know you asked me to lie, E. Lockhart, but I decided to just withhold information instead!)

 

fivebards

Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: November 4, 2014

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

Book Review: Edge of Falling by Valia Lind

22674926For Chance, there’s always only been Dakota.

He’s been in love with the girl since the day they met. He’s tried everything to get her to notice him and nothing has worked. So when things suddenly start moving in the right direction, Chance can’t believe his luck.

Until Kyle comes along.

Kyle is like a new shiny toy and Dakota loves new and shiny. She falls for the tall, blonde and gorgeous fast and without looking back. Dating the summer before college wasn’t in the plans, but come on, Kyle is perfect. So why does Chance and his snarky grin keeps popping up in her mind now that Dakota has found her happiness?

When Chance’s world comes crashing down, Dakota proves the strength of their friendship, surprising herself and everyone around her, by helping him pick up the pieces. In return, Chance is finally able to crack her hard shell, discovering that not everything is sunny in Dakota-land. Her world is not what it seems on the outside, and together, they’re able to pull each other to the brink of safety and sanity.

Dakota likes that things are simple with Kyle, so why does she feel more like herself around Chance?

As graduation grows closer, both Chance and Dakota learn that the plans you make for your life don’t always play out the way you expect them and sometimes, everything starts to make sense when you find yourself on the edge of falling.

 

This is the second book in the Falling by Design series from Valia Lind.  To find my first review follow this link.  I loved Falling by Design and I love Edge of Falling, so basically I want Valia Lind to continue writing so I can continue loving everything she does.  I was looking forward to reading Chance and Dakota’s story after the first book and was not disappointed.  I felt all sorts of feels while reading this.  I was happy, sad, nervous, angry, jealous, everything.  I loved that about a book, when you loose yourself in the characters, its soo good!!

This book let us in to Dakota’s not so perfect life, and as a child of divorced parents I could relate so much to her.  I loved the relationship her and Jackson had, and am hoping to hear more about Jackson in a future book?????  Anyway, fingers crossed on that one.  Chance, oh Chance.  I feel for you bud.  My heart breaks for him, and everything he has been through.  The only character I didn’t fully connect with was Kyle.  But I get the feeling that we may hear more of his story later so I’m not mad about not knowing his background.

As for the stoy, I thought it flowed at a good pace.  I was super upset in the middle of the book, and if I had put down the book I might have even yelled at Valia via twitter, but alas I couldn’t put the book down!  I am not going to lie, I kind of want to go to that high school too, it sounds way better than mine was!  Anyway two big thumbs up for Edge of Falling.  I can’t say too much about the book with out giving stuff away, but I will say that you will not be able to put it down!  It is a must read!  Have tissues handy for that middle part!!!  Also Miss Valia Lind is on twitter and responds to tweets!  So tell her how much you love the book @ValiaLind !!

5 Bards

fivebards

 

Book Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

Fan Art is significantly different from the other LGBT books that I’ve read recently, in that it deals with two male characters, and the character’s sexuality is the main focus of the narrative.  Whereas some of the other LGBT books I’ve read are more focused on other aspects of the story.  For example, Caela Carter’s My Best Friend, Maybe really deals with the broken friendship between the two main characters and how religion and prejudice concerning homosexuality can cause issues, and not a romance.  You should really read that one too, it was great.  Check out my review here.

Fan Art isn’t particularly jazzy or addicting from a narrating standpoint, in fact, the narration is down right bland.  However, I think that this was a purposeful move on behalf of the author.  For example, Jamie, the main character, constantly tries to fly under the radar at his school in order to protect himself and his sexuality.  I think that the narrative style that Tregay used was perfect for this, because it really added to Jamie’s characterization.

Another thing that I really liked about Tregay’s story is that it really utilizes the whole fangirl process of shipping just about any fictional character with one another regardless of sex or sexuality. If you have ever been an avid fan and scrolled through Tumblr, then you definitely know what I’m talking about.  Example: Captain Hook and Prince Charming from Once Upon a Time.  Anyway, I can’t imagine that this wouldn’t happen at a high school where some guys will fantasize about two girls together, and the girls can ship any of their guy friends together.  Kudos to Tregay for cashing in on this whole subgenre, because it was truly innovative and a lot of fun to read.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story even though I totally predicted where it was going before I was even half way through the novel.  I’d argue that this isn’t a bad thing, because I loved the story and where it ended.

Pick up a copy!

4 Bards.

fourbards

 

 

 

 

A huge thank you to Jeremy at Novel Thoughts for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!

 

 

Non-Fiction Friday: Thin by Lauren Greenfield

Critically acclaimed for Girl Culture and Fast Forward, Lauren Greenfield continues her exploration of contemporary female culture with Thin, a groundbreaking book about eating disorders. Greenfield’s photographs are paired with extensive interviews and journal entries from twenty girls and women who are suffering from various afflictions. We meet 15-year-old Brittany, who is convinced that being thin is the only way to gain acceptance among her peers; Alisa, a divorced mother of two whose hatred of her body is manifested in her relentless compulsion to purge; Shelly, who has been battling anorexia for six years and has had a feeding tube surgically implanted in her stomach; as well as many others. Alongside these personal stories are essays on the sociology and science of eating disorders by renowned researchers Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Dr. David Herzog, and Dr. Michael Strober. These intimate photographs, frank voices, and thoughtful discussions combine to make Thin not only the first book of its kind but also a portrait of profound understanding.

With the percentage of teens suffering from eating disorders on the rise, and after having personal experience with an eating disorder, I thought that reading this book after watching the documentary was extremely important.

For those of you that don’t know, Thin was a documentary made by Lauren Greenfield that follows the recovery program at the residential recovery unit at the Renfrew Center in Florida.  If you have access to Amazon Prime or Amazon Instant Video, then you can watch Thin on there for free.

This companion book really gives a lot more depth into the story.  While the documentary is limited to the treatment of four specific patients, the book explores the stories of many other patients, including more teenagers as young as 14 and women as old as 74, bulimia patients, anorexic patients, and binge eating patients.  The stories are heartbreaking, eye-opening, shocking, and bravely honest.

I recommend this book to anyone who may be or previously suffered from an eating disorder.  It helps remind me of how bad it can get and how hard the fight really is.  It makes me feel less alone in my struggle.  I hope this book can do that for others.

There are also a number of Young Adult Fiction novels that focus on Eating Disorders and Recovery if you or someone you know is looking to read fictional accounts:


Wintergirls
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Purge by Sarah Darer Littman

Unwell by Leslie Lipton

The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Scheinmel

 

These are only a few of the titles, but they are ones I recommend.

If you know someone who may be suffering please encourage them to get help or to contact http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

5 Bards

fivebards

Book Review: Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

8130839But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is. In this remarkable final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, international bestselling author Andrea Cremer crafts a dynamic novel with twists and turns that will keep you breathless until its final pages.

Wow, that was a long book! It was pretty good, consistent with the first two books, but it dragged on longer than it should have. It is so hard to write a review for a book in a series that I have already reviewed. If you want to see my reviews for Nightshade (Book 1) click here and for Wolfsbane (Book 2) click here. Everything seemed to wrap up together nicely and I didn’t feel like things built up to a tragically short ending. The characters kept pulling me in with their developments and achievements and yes, I cried when some were lost.

I got to say though, the ending through me for a loop. Not in a bad way, but in a different way. I won’t give anything away, but it was definitely a change from the normal. The ending also left all the characters at a good place, but also a place where the series could continue in a different direction if the author chooses.  Just to give you a little something to look forward to, I will mention the two gay teen werewolves scuba diving and chasing turtles.  And that is part of the reason I like this series.

4 Bards

fourbards

Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: January 6, 2015

Heartbreaking decisions 
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory 
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a frozen and perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers and the vast army they command. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them once and for all may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned 
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first?

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