Saturday, January 31, 2015

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Hardcover, 323 pages
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Published by: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (BYR)
Stand-alone
Source: Purchased/ Netgalley
For fans of: Contemporaries, Diversity, Realistic Fiction, YA, Poetry


     It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.
     Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?
     It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.
     In a voice that's as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl's journey through life's challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.
 

*MY THOUGHTS*

     I had this book for review before it was released, but then I heard it was written entirely in letters I kind of shyed away form it, I'm not a huge fan of poetry and that's exactly what this sounded like, But then the reviews for it started pouring in and I was so intrigued that I decided to still give it a chance. So, it stayed on my TBR until I was ready for it.
"Why are some things harder to lose than others? [...] Because of love, of course. The more you love something, the harder it is to lose."
pg. 13
     Oddly enough, while reading this, the letter style and the poetry feel didn't bother me. It actually made the story a little more lyrical and it flowed so nicely. Dellaira has a great writing style that I actually kind of envied. She was able to use those letters to tell Laurel and May's story as well as keep incorporate some of whoever she wrote that specific letter to. It was so intricate and well put together and I was very impressed.
"When we are in love, we are both completely in danger and completely saved."
pg. 151
     What I didn't like was the plot. The beginning was good because I was anticipating something bad happening. (So many people had told me to get my tissues ready,) I just knew I was in for a doozie. But as it got to the middle, it just drug on. I really felt like what was happening actually had nothing to do with May and Laurel. Although it taught her a small lesson in the end, I really felt like a large chunk of that could have been left out. The ending is where it got good again which is unfortunate because by then it was too late. Finally everything began to come together, but by then I had already guessed what had happened. So of course when it did, I wasn't surprised and I didn't cry. It was weird because I normally do cry at books like this, but after a predicted plot twist, the tears just never came.
"...maybe what growing up really means is knowing that you don't have to just be a character going whichever way the story says. It's knowing that you could be the author instead."
pg. 301
     All in all, this wasn't what I was expecting after everyone's rave reviews about it. Yeah the writing was very impressive, but the plot and the middle of the story just dragged on too much for me. Although this wasn't the right fit for me, I hope it falls into the hands of someone who can utilize it and cherish it.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Follow Friday: Favorite reading formats?

Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee’s View & Alison Can Read.    

The goal is to increase blog followers and make friends. Basically how it works is you follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. So looking forward to making new blogging friends & following blogs!

Hard print (real thing) or Kindle/Nook, which is your favorite?
         Really it doesn't matter to me. I normally only buy hard print when I either really like the author and have the rest of their books in print, or if I LOVE the cover. Otherwise I buy a Kindle/Nook copy or borrow from the library. I normally buy the Kindle/Nook version if I haven't read it yet and can't wait for it to get to my house so I download it directly at midnight. The only version of reading I'm not too fond of is audiobooks. Only because I have a really short attention span and trying to concentrate on just that is really challenging. 

What about you?
Which of these reading formats is your favorite? 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fairest by Marissa Meyer


Hardcover, 220  pages
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Published by: Henry Holt & Co. 
The Lunar Chronicles, #0.1
Source: Bought (It was out a day early at Barnes and Noble!)
For fans of: Romance, Sci-Fi, Sparkly Covers, Favorites, DEAR

     In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
     Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.
     Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.
 

*MY THOUGHTS*

     As the self-proclaimed number one fan of this series, there's no doubt I loved this book. Although I wished Winter had been released, it was nice to get a look into Queen Levana's head. 
"Mirror, Mirror Who's the fairest of them all?"
Title Page
     Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it was semi short because it was pretty hard to be in her mind. She definitely had some crazy going on, but seeing why she was that way opened my eyes a bit. Not to where I sympathize with her (because she did some cray, cray things), but to where I can at least see it wasn't her fault. 
"Being queen is a right little sister."
page 12
     What I loved most about this book was the way Meyer was still able to weave everyone's stories into one. Although they did not know each other, the entire gang from the series makes appearances in this one. It was very interesting to find out facts about each of the character's background. 
"Love is a conquest! Love is a war!"
page 92
     Another thing I loved about this was all the FEELS. For this to be so short and for it to be just a "bridge" book, it really showed a lot of emotion. I felt my heart break a million times for Levana, but then I got pissed off at Levana for someone else, and then I was scared for everyone's life when she started finding out who everyone was and what she may be up against. It felt like a kick in the gut. 
"A good queen was a well informed queen."
page 209
     Marissa Meyer has done nothing but solidified my love for this series with this book. I never knew how bad I needed to know Levana's story until I got it. And in my opinion, those are the best kinds of stories. 
Overall, I give this

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: 01/28/15

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what we're waiting patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) for! It's hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine!

School for Sidekicks
     Being a hero isn't always what it's cracked up to be in this funny and genuine novel from adult fantasy author Kelly McCullough.
     Evan Quick is a GIANT superhero geek who dreams of one day becoming a superhero himself. Every morning he checks to see if he's developed his powers overnight, and every day there's nothing. No flying, no super strength, no invulnerability—that always hurts to check—no telepathy, no magic. Not even the ability to turn off the alarm clock without smacking the switch.
     But then Evan somehow manages to survive a supervillian's death ray, and is sent to the Academy for Metahuman Operatives. Unfortunately, his new school is not what he expected, and instead of fighting bad guys, Evan finds himself blacklisted, and on the wrong side of the school's director. If Evan ever wants to realize his dream, he must convince his "mentor" Foxman, a semi-retired has-been, to become a real hero once again.

Expected Publication: August 4, 2015
Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Why I'm Waiting: Comics, villains, and geeks?! This is definitely right up my alley! It has everything I'm interested in! And this cover is definitely an attention grabber! I need to get my hands on this book. It says its an MG, but with the amount of pages Goodreads says it has, it may be more upper MG or YA so it might be even better! I can't wait to see how this book is! 

What are you waiting on this week?
Will you be waiting on this with me?!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

TTT: Top Ten Books I'd Love to Read with my "historical fiction" book club!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the BookishEach week we will post a new Top Ten list. Everyone is welcome to join.   

This week's topic is:
Top Ten Books I'd Love to Read with my "historical fiction" book club!

     Since I'm not such a huge fan of historical fiction, I wish I had a book club to make me read more of it! Here are some books that I have yet to read.. Some I'm a little ashamed of so don't judge too hard lol 


1 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I've been seeing this around since I was a little kid. I wish I had just tried reading it then, but I just never did. Now I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction and I'm not sure I'll ever get to it. I need a book club (or ANYONE) to give me that extra PUSH!! 

2. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: I've checked out this book from the library, I've won it on a giveaway, and I've had people recommend it to me numerous times saying that the "nuns" aren't actually the nuns I thought at first... But Idk I just can't read it. I think I'm intimidated by the size? Whatever the case may be, having me read it with a book club may be just what I need!

3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: This chick sounds like a bad ass heroine, but I was just never interested past that. But then I saw all the five stars and more people were saying forget about your historical fiction dislike, this book is for EVERYONE, so maybe it may be time. I wish I had that extra incentive of reading it with someone else. 

4. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: I heard this one was a companion to Code Name Verity, so I added it to my TBR. Of course since I haven't read Code, I haven't read this either...


5. Between Shades of Gray by Ruby Sepetys: This is another one that comes so highly recommended. I need that extra push to get it in my hands! 

6. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman: I'm not sure why I haven't read this one. Well besides my phobia of this genre. I mean her uncle is Adolf Hitler for goodness sake! I'm sure it would be interesting to see what happens, but I'm just too scared! 

7. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley: This is one book I really have no idea why I haven't read it. It was released in October 2014 and I didn't hear about it until it was already released. I checked it out from my library and then I just didn't read it. Idk why because I love African American history and I love diversity in books. This is right up my alley. I think I just need someone to MAKE me pick it up!

8. A Mad, Wicked, Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller: Now this one sounds like a YA from contemp times, but with the historical fiction in the background. I thought I could give this one a try, but I just never gave in. One day I'll get to it!


9. Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd: I'm not entirely sure why I didn't read this one. I read and loved the first one... I will get to it soon because the third book comes out on Tuesday and I'm trying to push this series to my my mom who loves historical fiction!

10. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen: I've had this on my TBR for SO. LONG. But then I just never got to it. And it's a retelling! I'm sure I'd love it. But that genre that some have classified me under has intimidated me I think...

So, anyone have any Historical Fiction YA book clubs that I can join?
Anyone want to start one? 
(Maybe just so I can have a reason to read all these!)
What book club do you wish you were in?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

ARC, 279 pages
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen
Stand-alone
Source: ATWAT
For fans of: Contemps, Romance, Music


     A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend's suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel.
     Here's what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you'll understand.
     As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it's only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.
     Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now, Playlist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that's always defined you—and the struggle to redefine yourself. But above all, it's about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.

*MY THOUGHTS*

     As contemps are my favorite genre, I knew that this was a must read. Even more so because it wasn't just a cute, fluffy one, but one about something much deeper. 
"Look, it's true that I think there are a lot of people to blame for all this, but I'm one of them. [...] And it's not my job to decide who should pay."
(ARC)
     Hayden and Sam have it hard. Not only are they bullied by outsiders, but the bullies that target them are actually Hayden's brothers and his friends. There's really no escaping them. Hayden eventually has enough and commits suicide. Sam is upset deeply by it, as it is him who finds his body, but starts to question everything he knows about Hayden. He finds a playlist with Hayden along with a weird note. 
"They'd never deserved him, his family."
(ARC)
     What I liked most about this book was the mystery aspect. There is someone going around and hurting the people that wronged Hayden. But the cool part is the way it's written. I can't tell you exactly how without giving away spoilers, but the way it all ties in, is really interesting. The culprit who is behind it isn't easy to figure out wither. This does bring light to all the people who wronged him. Everyone that should have been on his side turned bad in some way. For awhile I was hating that there were only a few people in the book that WASN'T a cruel person. It made me really question kids and their motives. In the end, I couldn't guess who the culprit was because it was the person I most expected. It's funny how that never really works out lol 
"For a guy with one friend, his funeral was pretty crowded."
(ARC)
     I also liked Falkoff's writing style. I haven't read too many books from a boy's POV, but this one seemed solid. Especially since Sam was so hurt. He was such an open, honest character and I felt so bad for him. Her writing really made me want to swallow him in a hug! 
"[...] I hadn't factored in that everyone has a breaking point."
(ARC)
     The thing that brought this book over the top for me was the playlist. Most of the songs were new to me so I went ahead and listened to some of them while I read the chapter it went with. It really tied the story together and heleped me match some of the events up with things that happen in the chapter and then in the song. I felt that it really connected me to the story. 
"[He] was a lot smarter than people gave him credit for wasn't he? [...] Nice that someone finally got it. "Way smarter.'"
(ARC)
     Bullying is still happening out there and things like this fictional story happen entirely too much. What happened with Hayden could happen to anyone that we know and that's pretty scary. This book features a relevant topic in a way that will leave any music/book lover satisfied.
Overall, I give this

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #111 & the Weekly Wrap-Up!

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what all we borrowed, bought, and received for review. It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

Borrowed from the library:
All Fall Down (Embassy Row, #1)
All Fall Down by Ally Carter 
I tried reading Heist Society, but I didn't enjoy it much. But this one is a thriller and may be more my style. I was lucky to snag it just as my local librarian put it out!

Borrowed:
Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
I was so upset when I missed the time they had this one on Edelweiss! One of my good bloggy friends saw how distraught I was over missing this gorgeous cover that she let me borrow it after she finished it! Can't wait to read it! 

For Review:
One of the GuysLast Year's Mistake
One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin
I snagged this one for my blog tour stop in the upcoming month! 
Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
Everyone has been so excited about this one. Including me due to the super amazing cover!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Tuesday 01/20/15: Top 10 Tuesday was a freebie! I used it to showcase the cutest kids in YA
Thursday 01/22/15: Waiting on..... Thursday?! and preparing for my National Readathon Day Readathon!
Friday 01/23/15: Follow Friday: Where do you post your reviews?

What did you get this week?
What went on at your blog this week?!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

National Readathon Day! Make #TimetoRead

Readathon
Click the pic to be directed to the original pic and the original article on their blog! 

     Today is National Readathon Day! Penguin Random House paired with other organizations has decided to use this day as a day where people can set aside a certain time (12pm-4pm) to do nothing but read! They are looking for donations to help fund the education, tutoring, and make sure that people develop and keep a love for reading. As some of you may know, the failing literacy rate is part of the reason I want to become a YA librarian, so this day will mean something very special to me. So because of that, I will be doing more than just the 4 hour readathon and will spend my Saturday right here:

I've made a 24 Hour Readathon for myself to celebrate this new national day! You should participate! If not, you can always use the hashtag #timetoread to keep Penguin Random House updated on your progress! 

Will you be participating in this Readathon?
Where will you be spending today reading?



Friday, January 23, 2015

Follow Friday: Posting your reviews other places!

Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee’s View & Alison Can Read.    

The goal is to increase blog followers and make friends. Basically how it works is you follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. So looking forward to making new blogging friends & following blogs!

DO YOU post your reviews anywhere besides your blog? If yes, where do you post them?
    I post mine of Booklikes, Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. But when posting to Amazon I have to make sure the book is already released. If not, there is not I don't think it will allow you to post it there. (If there is a way, someone please let me know....)  I used to have a Library Thing, but once you get to a certain number of books they cut you off. Like I had to start deleting others in order to add more. I guess they didn't think I really read that much lol 

Any other cool sites I should post to?!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Make #TimetoRead Read-a-thon!


     When I saw this the other day, I began wondering if there was anyone doing an actual read-a-thon. I started tweeting around and no one knew of one, so I decided to do one on my own. Since it's so last minute I'm not asking anyone to join, but if you'd like to, GO AHEAD! If I get enough people to do it I will include a giveawaay of some sort.... But anyways, here is my personal one. I want to do more than just the four hours (between 12pm and 4pm) that Penguin Random House is asking for, but a 24 hour one running from 12am to 11:59 pm on Saturday January 24, 2015. I will include some small challenges and just spend the day reading. So, if you're looking for a read-a-thon to participate in, it's a little last minute, but I just found out I will be off so I wanted to do something! I'll make a post about my mini-challenges and all the books I read on Monday!

Mini Challenges

1. What time will I start reading?: I'll just tweet about what time I wake up, do anythng I need to do, and then start reading! Just to get a clear definition of how many hours I will be reading. 

2. Instagram where I'll be spending the time between 12-4pm reading. Include any snacks or anything I may need to keep you company while you read! (Post this by 11:55am) Use the tag #NRATD and me under @take_me_awayyy if you want to participate with me! 

3. Tweet my favorite quote I've read so far today!: Find a quote I loved so far and tweet it including #NRATD. You can also tag me under my Twitter name @TakeMeAway02 (Do this by 9:55pm)  if you want to participate with me. 

4. Instagram of all the books I've read during the read-a-thon!: This one's pretty easy. Just take a pic of all the books I've finished before going to bed! (Do this by 11:59pm!) Use the tag #NRATD and me under @take_me_awayyy if you'd like to participate with me. 

5. Anytime three times during the day I'll post your stats for the time being!

(Try to complete the challenges in order!)

If you participate, be sure to let me know! If you have a different one that you participated in, let me know! 

Waiting on... Thursday: 1/22/2015

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what we're waiting patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) for! It's hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine!

Well I didn't realize that I scheduled this post for the wrong day until it was too late, and by then I was already at work so I just left it this way *shrugs* 

The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #1)
     Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.
     She’s the executioner.
     As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.
     But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.
     However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

Expected Publication: February 24, 2015 
Published by: Scholastic Press

Why I'm Waiting: As if the title wasn't intriguing enough, that cover definitely is! And then to see that she's the executioner, it can only get better. And looking at the synopsis, it seems that it definitely does. I can't wait to see what all happens! Everyone who's read it says they loved it already! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Cutest Kids in YA!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the BookishEach week we will post a new Top Ten list. Everyone is welcome to join.   

This week's topic is:
Top Ten : Freebie!
I chose Top  Cutest Kids in YA!!!!!!
(I tried not to give too much away, so some of these descriptions are pretty vague and you won't understand them unless you've read the story!!!!)

I'll Meet You There
1. Sean from I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios: This one hasn't been released yet, but Sean is the son of Dylan... and that's all I'm going to say. His first strawberry is adorable! I can definitely see why he's in danger of getting "eaten up" by his entire family!

My Life Next Door
2. George AND Patsy from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: Every one of their quotes was the most adorable thing I've ever Heard! (Read?) The phrase kids say the dardendest things makes you think this was started because of them. Even if the phrase came first! 

How to Love
3. Hannah from How to Love by Katie Cotguno: She's a sweet little girl that loves her bunny. She has an amazing mother who is a teen and doing things on her own. She also has a dad that got his act together all because of her!She is definitely loved!

The Dead and Buried
4. Colby from The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington: Man I hated what happened to him, but he was a really good sport about it though. And he was super cute throughout the whole ordeal. Well, as much as he could be as a five year old because that ish was creepy! 

Unmarked (The Legion, #2)
5. Maya from Unmarked by Kami Garcia: I was a little sad when I read what happened to her. She was described as having darkcorkscrew curls and a wide smile. And what that thing did to her... *shudders*

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)
6. Teddy from If I Stay by Gayle Forman: He was so cute and wayyyyyyy too smart. Pretty much what I imagined myself like at that age. I wish things had turned out differently!

Inspire (The Muse, #1)
7. Gwen from Inspire by Cora Carmack: She loved Frozen and fancy dresses. That's exactly what I did at that age, loved Disney and played dress-up in Mommy's clothes!

Be with Me (Wait for You, #2)
8. George from Be With Me by J. Lynn: He;s so smart and super adorable! He loves horses and he knows all about how to cookie dough lol 

No Place to Fall
9. Coby from No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown: He's Amber's nephew and he knows how to have fun with his food! He eats Cheerios and gets them EVERYWHERE!

The End Games
10. Patrick from The End Games by T. Michael Martin: As young as he is, he was definitely more brave than I ever would be. There's no way I could fight zombies and do all that he did! 

So there you have it! These are some of my favorite kids in YA! Have any that you love that I missed, leave them in the comments! 

What did you choose for your topic on Top  Tuesday?!