Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Top Ten Books I Should Have Read a Long Time Ago!

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 Should Have Read a Long Time Ago! 

TTT is on hiatus until March 7th, so I decided to just do a freebie! I chose this topic because everytime I say I haven't read one of these certain books, I get the O_O face. They're modern day classics according to some people, so it pains me to think how late I am on some of these lol 

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)
1. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: What's that you say? But I've read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom! Yes, I have read both of those and have yet to read Bardugo'sfirst series. But actually I am listening to Shadow and Bone right now as we speak. Slowly but surely I'm getting there lol 

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: I started blogging at the same time this came out. I wasn't a huge fantasy fan yet, so I didn't add this one to my TBR. But then I heard what it was about, and I bought it. But now it still sits unread on my shelf. 

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1)Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
3. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: As big a fan of contemps as I am, I am appalled at myseld for not having read this one. I told myself I would read it for Christmas last year, but I ended up choosing a different one to go with. This year is THE year tho!

4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore: With her new book coming out, I need to read this series. I'm fairly certain they won't have anything to do with the other, but at the same time I still want to know what the hype surrounding her is all about. 
Out of the EasyThe Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3)
5. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys: With me being from the south and ALL the times I've been to New Orleans, I can't believe I haven't read this yet! All of Sepetys books have come with great reviews, so I can see this coming up soon! 

6. The Retruibution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: Now this one I can't really remember WHY I didn't read this one. I remember having two when I preordered it so I gave it away. But why I didn't read it right away I'm not sure. 

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)
7. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: This one I have bought AND checked out from the library. There is no excuse as to why I hadn't read this yet. But unfortunately, I still haven't. I think it sounds SO GOOD though because somewhere Death is introduced or something (so I've heard) and I think that sounds awesoe! Hopefully I can get to it this year! 

8. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter: This one has a premise that was right up my alley with the paranormal elements and since it's a retelling, but I just never got around to it. Hopefully I will soon!

The Book ThiefWild Awake
9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Don't throw tomatoes at me yet.... My reasoning is I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction. This one seems like it may be good, but I'm too scared to not like somethnig that everyone else has lol But now that there is a book and a movie, I can see myself reading through the book just to watch the movie lol 

10. Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith: When I first heard about this book, I was desperate for it. But when it finally released, I didn't see it anywhere. I coldn't buy it. My library didn't have it. Something was going on to where I couldn't read this book. Hopefully I can find a way to get to it soon. 

What about you? 
Any books you think you should have read a long time ago?
Any of them that you see on here?



Monday, February 27, 2017

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

e-ARC, 416 pages
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Published by: Crown Books for Young Readers
Read from: February 22- 26, 2017 
Stand-alone
Source: Netgalley (I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.) 
For fans of: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, DEAR, Marginazlized Voices, Sparkly Covers, Tear-Jerkers, YA

     Can a text message destroy your life?
     Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.
     Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?

*MY THOUGHTS*

     I was late to the party on Zentner's first book, The Serpent King, but once I saw it kept winning best debut, I was intrigued. I needed to know what all the fuss was about. So I got it from the librarry and read it. And after reading it, I was alreadt obsessed with his words. So it came as no surprise that I NEEDED this book in my hands.
"People take shelter under cliches. Language is powerless enough in the face of death."
3%
     Carver Briggs was seding a text to his friends. Something he does day in and day out. But this time, it seems that it resulted in a fatal crash, killing hi three besst friends. Carver is hit very hard by the pain of losing them, so when one of his friend's grandmothers comes up with the idea to glorify them by giving them a "goodbye day," he isn't too thrilled, but is willing to help however he can.
"I get it, and I'm not trying to be insensitive, but the news doesn't stop for grief."
7%

     Ok, if you followed my updates with this book, you know that I have most of my memory on it gone because I have basically saved every last word of this book too my Kindle. I swear I highlighted EVERYTHING. Zentner is an amazing author who is so detailed, but it's still not overly done so. It was done just right and I couldn't be more amazed at what he's done.
"All I'm saying is that when we're down, we need the people who love us."
11%
     Going along witht that, once upon a time I said I saw Morgan Matson the Queen on YA contemps because she makes an amazing story with the plot and subplot and they always make me laugh and swoon and more. Well I think I've found the King. Zentner has done the same things in my eyes but from a male POV and I LOVED both his main characters, form here and TSK.
"I sometimes looks at my bookshelf now and think about how someday I'm going to die without ever reading a lot of the books on there And one might be life-changingly good and I'll never know."
23%
     This is another story where I fell in love with this emotions he brought forth from me. During this books I laughed, cried, got angry, the whole nine yards. It was one of those novels where I began yelling at the characters in the book while getting questioning eyes from my husband.
"We should make a rule that we only spend some of our time talking about the past. [...] It doesn't mean we care about them less. It just means that we still have to live."
23%
     The only thing I didn't care for was the characters. I felt like the dialogue between them was trying too hard, but then again, I'm not exactly sure if that's what teen boys talk like when I'm not around. It could just be me. Which is why I didn't choose to knock anything off the rating. Still completely five stars.
"I should wait. I don't want to come off as a weirdo. But also I'm now keenly aware of how important it is to tell people what you  want them to know while you can."
23%
     Zentner has quickly climbed up the chart to being one of my favorites. He's definitely been added to the autobuy list. I look forward to buying this when it comes out. Thank you for another amazing story!
Overall, I give this


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #212 & 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.

From Edelweiss:
The GauntletMy Fairy Godmother Is a Drag Queen
The Traitor's Kiss (Traitor's Trilogy, #1)Bad Romance
AntisocialAt First Blush

The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beaty (When you've heard NOTHING about the book yet but you LOVE the cover so you have to have it lol) 
Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios (Got my most anticipated contemp of 2017 and I am absolutely STRUGGLING to not start it right now!)

Weekly Wrap-Up:

Monday 02/20/17: No Post
Wednesday 02/22/17: Waiting on Wednesday: Calling My Name by Liara Tamani
Thursday 02/23/2017:  No Post
Friday 02/24/17: Follow Friday:  LOL!

Me on Instagram @take_me_awayyy:

     Only one picture on Instagram this week, but I feel like it was most important lol I found out that the picture book posted above is what the new movie of the same title is loosely based off of. It made me even more excited for the movie because I will always watch a movie that's based on a book. Well, long as I read it first! lol 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Dragon's Price by Bethany Wiggins

e-ARC, 304 pages
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Published by: Crown Books for Young Readers
Read from: DNF 
Transference, #1
Source: Netgalley (I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.) 
For fans of: Dragons, Fantasy, Romance, YA

     Fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon and Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this action-packed fantasy adventure about a girl who chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince.
     When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.
Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.
     As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .
     If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?
     There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

*MY THOUGHTS*

     When I heard of this synopsis I was definitely excited for it. I'll read ANYTHING with dragons in it. And because I saw the title, I didn't even read the synopsis before I added it to my TBR. Maybe next time I will. 
     I won't go into a vague overview of the plot like I normally do here because to be honest, the synopsis tells everything in the story. And I wasn't happy that it it all happened within the first 25% of the book. It really just made me not want to read the rest of the book. 
     Then I read a little more of the book, and past that, it was only about the romance development. And I wasn't really a fan of him to begin with. I was a little upset because there was so much that could have been done besides the just having it romance filled. Especially with the amazing writing style that Wiggins had. This is definitely one I wished I liked more. 
     I was a little disappointed because I really wanted to like this. I mean come on! DRAGONS. But unfortunately, this one just wasn't for me. I can see other people loving this one, but it just wasn't for me. Give it a shot and let me know how you all like it! 
DNF @ 40%

Friday, February 24, 2017

Follow Friday: LOL!



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!

WHAT are your favorite humorous books? 
SO. FREAKIN. EASY. 
Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to MendRevenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold

The last one:
Hearts, Fingers, and Other Things to Cross (Broken Hearts & Revenge, #3)

I haven't read this one yet, but that's because my library didn't get it in :( I will definitely be planning to read it as soon as they do! 

What about you?!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WoW: Calling my Name by Liara Tamani


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!

Calling My Name



     Calling My Name, by debut author Liara Tamani, is a striking, luminous, and literary exploration of family, spirituality, and self—ideal for readers of Jacqueline Woodson, Jandy Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Sandra Cisneros. This unforgettable novel tells a universal coming-of-age story about Taja Brown, a young African American girl growing up in Houston, Texas.
     Liara Tamani’s debut novel deftly and beautifully explores the universal struggles of growing up, battling family expectations, discovering a sense of self, and finding a unique voice and purpose. Taja Brown lives with her parents and older brother and younger sister, in Houston, Texas. Taja has always known what the expectations of her conservative and tightly-knit African American family are—do well in school, go to church every Sunday, no intimacy before marriage. But Taja is trying to keep up with friends as they get their first kisses, first boyfriends, first everythings. And she’s tired of cheering for her athletic younger sister and an older brother who has more freedom just because he’s a boy. Taja dreams of going to college and forging her own relationship with the world and with God, but when she falls in love for the first time, those dreams are suddenly in danger of evaporating.
     Told in fifty-four short, episodic, moving, and iridescent chapters, Calling My Name follows Taja on her journey from middle school to high school. Literary and noteworthy, this is a beauty of a novel, a divine and tender enchantment. Calling My Name deftly captures the multifaceted struggle of finding where you belong and why you matter.
 

Expected Publication: October 24, 2017
Published by:  Greenwillow Books

Why I'm Waiting: All I needed to read was she was a "young African American girl growing up in Houston, Texas" and I was sold. Although I didn't grow up here, (I'm from Galveston!) I live here now and I would have loved to see a book about an African American female doing things like those mentioned in the synopsis. (The only book I ever read about Galveston was heavy with stereotypes smh) I can't wait to get this in my hands! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Top Ten Books I Loved Less Than I Thought I Would!

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 Loved Less Than I Thought I Would!

I LOVE the anticipation of waiting for new books and I love finally getting them in my hands even more. But what happens when that book you've been waiting for for SO LONG comes out and it's not at all what you wanted it to be? Unfortunately, this happens to me alot. Here's some of the books that missed the mark with me. 

By Your SideAllegiant (Divergent, #3)

1. By Your Side by Kasie West: I should have loved this more than I did. There's a budding romance between two people trapped in a library? Totally cute synopsis and reading it made my nerd heart happy. Unfortunately, it was not at ALL what I wanted and I was supremely disappointed in the wasted opportunity.

2. Allegiant by Veronica Roth: No it wasn't because that person had that thing at the end happen to them. It was because the characters were supposed to be bad ass but for the most part, all of them were only luke warm. The characters I'd grown to love in Divergent were no longer there and I didn't care for who they had become. And honestly, it was a bit boring. 

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Reawakened (Reawakened, #1)

3. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: I really did like this one. But I also read it as an e-ARC, so all the really cool graphics and everything was missing so it didn't have 100% of it's umph for me yet. And that's why I only gave it three stars and wasn't really in a hurry to read Gemina when I got the ARC at BEA last year. I knew the graphics wouldn't be there and I thought it unfairly to rate it with certain things because I hadn't seen it in all it's glory. Now I'm just waiting on my hold at the library to finally come in for Gemina for a finished copy so I can catch up! 

4. Reawakened by Colleen Houck: I thought I would love this one because of the Egyptian mythology in it. I mean let's be real, it sounds right up my alley. But it just felt way too cheesy for me. I don't even think I wrote a review for this one. I only listened to like the first 3 parts of the audiobook.

WaxRoseBlood
5. Wax by Gina Damico: Another one that wasn't for me. The humor wasn't funny and it was just not what I thought it would be. I thought I was getting something creepy and cool, but nope. She has more of a creepy, try to be funny approach and it just didn't work for me. 

6. Roseblood by A.G. Howard: I remember almost drooling over both the premise and the cover for this book. So when I finally got my hands on it, I was so so sad at what was on the inside. There was wayyyyyyyy too much flowerly language (enough for me to get lost and have to read passages again) and to be honest, I wasn't impressed by her "power" that she had.

Bone GapWink Poppy Midnight
7. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: When this first came out I saw that everyone loved it. And then it won an award. So, when it appeared on my list of books to read for one of my assignments, I gladly picked it up. But then when I started listening to it, it didn't seem like there was anything at all that I liked. 

8. Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke: With the amount of love I had for her debut, I should have LOVED this one. I knew what I was getting myself into when I added it to my TBR; fowery language, weird, the whole nine. But it was just too weird and the language was just too flowery and it all was just too much. I just couldn't gel with it. 

My Sister RosaThe Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1)
9. My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier: I really liked this one. I just feel like I should have liked it more. The way everyone was talking about it and if you know me, you know that psycological thrillers are my JAM, so I really wanted to like this one.  But unfortunately, it was only meh for me. I still saw everything coming. There was nothing that just jumped out to me. 

10. The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: Another one that I just feel like I should have liked more than I did. It had really beauutiul language and it had a really great story... Well for the part that I understood. It was kind of confusing after awhile. The middle dragged and it was what confused me. I've heard the second book is super amazing, so I still want to pick that one up as well! 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

e-ARC, 464 pages
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Read from: February 12- 16, 2017 
Stand-alone
Source: Edelweiss (I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.) 
For fans of: Realistic Fiction,  Contemporary, DEAR, Debut Author, Own Voices, YA

     Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.

*MY THOUGHTS*

  Before I even knew the full synopsis I added this to my TBR. All I had to do was read the bit about being inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement. Add on to that that the author is one of the best people I've had the pleasure to talk Tweet to (I mean come on, she wears J's too!!!) AND the fact that this cover is EVERYTHING, yeah you can safely say I knew I needed this book a long time ago.
"When I was twelvee, my parents had two talks with me. One was the ususal birds and bees. [...] The other was about what to do if a cop stopped me."
5%%
     Starr is out with her friends when things go bad quickly. Her best friend is shot before her eyes by a cop. Her best friend was unarmed at the time. Now Starr struggles with the fact deciding whether she should speak up or stay silent.
"Good-byes hurt the most when the other person's already gone."
15%
     The most important thing about this book is its message. It's easily the most important book that I've ever read. This book centered on police brutality in the black community, but it also featured other messages, such as family and their loyalty, friends from two different "worlds," and even interracial relationships. It's such a sobering book that displays life in many black communities.
"Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. They key is to never stop doing right."
35%
     Even though the most important thing about this book is the message, my favorite part of the entire book was the characters. Every last one of them was so well written and they all seemed so real. I really loved her family. I felt like I was one of them. Her dad reminded me so much of my momma though haha Truly an example of why we need diverse books.
"I wish people like them would stop thinking that people like me need saving."
56%
     When I was her age, some of the same things she went through I did too. I went to a Catholic school where there was a total of 3 black kids there. (2 of which were sisters.) My mom has a picture of Black Jesus in her house to this day! We stayed on MLK until I went to middle school (if you know anything about your town, find the street MLK and tell me where it leads to...) and moved away to the part of town where I was in another school district. And last but certainly not least, I STILL wear J’s to this day and I definitely love the fact that the Space Jams are mentioned in this story. Because let’s be honest, they are still DOPE. Thomas, thank you for giving Starr, the young me, and so many more African Americans a voice through your words. But even still, there was only one thing in the book that I wasn’t a fan of. And that was the whole “golden Oreos are superior” comment that Starr made lmao I knew it would end up in the book somewhere, but no. (#TeamRegularOreos!!!)
"What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in the those moments you shouldn't be."
57%
     I know I loved this book before I even finished it because I went through so many different emotions while reading this. There was a point in time that I cried and then not a whole page later I was laughing and then another page later I was angry. This book touched every emotion I have and I can't wait to see what it does to the rest of the world.
"Brave doesn't mean you're not scared, Starr," she says. "It means you go on even though you're scared."
75%
     There's so much I want to say about this book, but I'm not sure I have the words. I'm still not sure if I've done this book justice. I loved the characters, and the world, and the way Thomas wrote such a sobering book to help people understand the turmoil of so many of us.
Overall, I give this

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Stacking the Shelves & the Weeekly 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.

From Edelweiss:
The Heartbeats of Wing JonesBlood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, #1)
Blacksouls (Blackhearts, #2)The Last Magician


Weekly Wrap-Up:

Monday 02/13/17: #famous by Jilly Gagnon
Tuesday 02/14/17: Top 10 of my favorite Meet Cutes! 
Wednesday 02/15/17: Waiting on Wednesday: The Seafarer's Kiss by Julia Ember
Thursday 02/16/2017:  Wonder Woman, Vol. 1 by Greg Rucka
Friday 02/17/17: Follow Friday: The first book that moved you? 



Me on Instagram @take_me_awayyy:
I got to be in charge of Blind Date With a book this year at work. SO. MUCH. PRESSURE. LOL 
There was a preschool storytim earlier that day, BUT  my TAG group (Teen Advisory Group) decided they wanted an Anti-Valentine's Day party. We had to get creative with the decorations! 
Me and the hubs on Valentine's Day in our HP shirts! 
That awkward moment when you're eating the same exact snack that the character in your book is reading O_O

What did you do this week?