Saturday, June 30, 2018

Monthly Wrap-Up: June 2018

  
Total Number of Posts: 2,298
(This includes those that aren't published!) 
Total Number of Followers390
Total Number of Pageviews: 713,413

Books Reviewed: 10
Movies Reviewed:  0

  • Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West (4 Stars)
  • Save the Date by Morgan Matson (5 Stars)
  • Always Forever Maybe by Anica Mrose Rissi (3 Stars
  • Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka (DNF Review)
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (5 Stars)
  • Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova (5 Stars)
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (3 Stars)
  • The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd (4 Stars
  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (5 Stars)






  • #271: With titles like: Intercepted by Alexa Martin, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, & This is Kind of An Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender
  • #272: With titles like: A Very Large Expanse of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi & The Resolutions by Mia Garcia 
  • #273: With titles like: Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky & The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde
  • #274: With titles like: This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada, Slayer by Kiersten White, The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason, & See All the Stars by Kat Frick

    Fun Stuff:
    Instagram Photos:


    More pics of work, of me and my pupper, and the weird rando things I do other than read! 

    What did your month look like?  

    Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

    e-Audio, 2 hours & 53 minutes
    Release Date: April 17, 2018
    Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers / Blackstone Publishing
    Read from: June 23-29, 2018
    Stand-alone
    Source: Library
    TW: Police Brutality & Death of a Child
    For fans of:  Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Grief, Cultural Fiction, Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Tear Jerkers

         Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that’s been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.
         Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions.
         Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today’s world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.

    *MY THOUGHTS*

         I was so excited when I knew Rhodes had a new book coming out. Her work is always on a very relevant issue and still written very well, in a non-preachy way. This new one on police brutality is no different. 
         Jerome is a twelve year old who is shot by a policeman for holding a toy gun. He comes back as a ghost to watch his family and friends as they mourn his horrible death. Then he meets other ghost boys, boys who have also met a tragic end, like Emmett Till. Till then shows Jerome the events that have built up over time and what may have been the root cause of the problem that exists today. 
         The best thing about this book has to be the relevance. There are plenty YA books that have come out in the past year about police brutality(The Hate U Give, Dear Martin, Anger is Not a Gift, Tyler Johnson was Here), but not too many MG books. This book shows that age doesn't matter, so providing students with matieral for this age group is essential. It will give parents a jump on giving their kids "the talk" and help ease them into the subject matter. 
         And of course I loved writing style as well. As someone who doesn't like historical fiction, Rhodes writes in a way in which you can't help but pay attention. However, it flows so perfectly and it doesn't seem at all preachy or teachy. It teaches you something without you even knowing about it. 
         And last but not least, I really loved the characters. They all had their own stories, but all their stories came together for Jerome. I loved that although they were all different, we still were able to see similarities in them. From his grandmother to his best friend, to his sister, they all had something in common in the end: Grief. It's a sad situation, but it was good to see them all come together after something like that. 
         As for the plot, this book was written in a different style. It jumped from Jerome being alive, to Jerome being dead, and then to Jerome and the ghost boys and learning Emmett Till's history. Sometimes it was a bit hard to follow because it was an audio book, but it was easy to pick up on where you were if you continued listening on. 
         Jewell Parker Rhodes and her captivating writing style have changed someone like me who doesn't ever like historical fiction to something that I liked. Anyone that can do that definitely has my respect. I hope the rest of the world reads this and feels like I do: Rhodes must continue to give us books like this.
    Overall, I give this

    Friday, June 29, 2018

    Book Blogger Hop: Add me on Insta!

               

    Do you have an Instagram account? 
    If so, do you only follow book folks?


              YES! I do have an Instagram account! (@take_me_awayyy) And for the most part, I do only follow book folks. But that's because I have two! I have a personal account and one that's my blog account. Why? Because I didn't expect to use my blog one too much, but then it just got out of control and I started putting personal and bookish pictures on it. 


    What about you?!

    Thursday, June 28, 2018

    The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd

    ARC, 274 pages
    Release Date: June 26, 2018
    Published by:  Random House/ Wendy Lamb Books
    Read from: June 24-28, 2018
    Stand-alone
    Source: Publisher (I received a copy of this book from the Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.
    TW: Self-harm
    For fans of:  Romance, YA, Mental Health

         Secrets are con artists: they trick you into letting them out.
         Sadie loves her rocker boyfriend Henry and her running partner and best friend Lucie, but no one can measure up to her truest love and hero, the dazzling and passionate George. George, her secret.
         When something goes wrong and Sadie is taken to the hospital calling out for George, her hidden life may be exposed. Now she must confront the truth of the past, and protect a world she is terrified to lose.

    *MY THOUGHTS*

                I have to admit, I had no idea about this book at first. And then I was approached about doing a blog tour about this one because it features neurodiversity. And I’m so glad I did not miss out.
    "Your mind is the only vault you can trust."
    pg. 11
         Sadie’s life is complete. Her rocker boyfriend and best friend are amazing, but so is her secret, George. After an accident, Sadie is taken to the hospital calling for George… George whom no one else can see. Now she has to protect the truth at all cost….
    "After all this time, how are you still surprised by the magic of us?"
    pg. 29
        Let me start with saying, the portrayal of Sadie’s neurodiversity is about as close as I believe it can get to something that it's not, but sounds a lot like. I won’t say what the book was about because of spoilers, but I have a sister who suffers from something close to it and she even read a couple parts and said that’s what she experiences sometimes. (She takes meds to help.) But, what the book displays is a bit different, but my sister still saw a bit of herself in the book. I found it interesting how all types of mental illnesses resemble each other or have some of the same characteristics. It shows like Sadie, people with this disesase don't have to feel alone.
    "...The trick, Sadie, is not minding that it hurts. Things will be lost. People will leave you. You have to keep going. That's life."
    pg. 93
         As for the writing style, I found myself falling into this one while the world around me fell away. However, I DID feel it could have used a bit more emotion. I don’t want to sound mean or anything, because there are some that may find themselves crying at the end, but I just wasn’t one of them. And I found that strange because normally if the smallest things happen, I find myself bawling. I just didn’t connect with this one on that level.
    "And in the grand scheme of things, embracing the truth of your plight is likely to do more good than harm. You can't fight an enemy you don't understand."
    pg. 99
         As for the characters, I have to say I LOVED them all. Especially Lucie and Sadie. I loved the scene where Henry told Sadie how alike they were. I loved how it helped to ground her and show her how special she was. 
    "The right story can be more true than the truth. Why is that?"
    pg. 241
         Redd is an debut author whom I can definitely say I will be keeping my eye on. The amount of emotion and love in her characters and writing style made for such a great story. I am certain that readers of all ages will love this one. 
    Overall, I give this
    Real rating 3.5 but I rounded up! 


    Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    WoW: Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West


    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!

    Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

         Lacey Barnes has dreamt of being in a movie for as long as she can remember. However, while her dream did include working alongside the hottest actor in Hollywood, it didn’t involve having to finish up her senior year of high school at the same time she was getting her big break. Although that is nothing compared to Donavan, the straight-laced student her father hires to tutor her, who is a full-on nightmare.
         As Lacey struggles to juggle her burgeoning career, some on-set sabotage, and an off-screen romance with the unlikeliest of leading men, she quickly learns that sometimes the best stories happen when you go off script.

    Expected Publication Date:  February 5, 2019
    Published by: HarperTeen

    Why I'm Waiting: It's no secret that I love Kasie West and anytime I see that she has a new book coming out, you can bet that I'm going to be watching my calendar and counting the days until I get it in my hands. And this one is no different. Add on to the fact that the synopsis sounds like the cutest, classic Kasie West novel, and there's no way I couldn't have this as my WoW! 
      

    Tuesday, June 26, 2018

    Top 10 Series I've Given Up On!

    Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and is now run by Jana at That Artsy Reader GirlEach week she will post a new Top Ten list . Everyone is welcome to join. 

    This week's topic is:
    Top 10 Series I've Given Up On! 

    The Lotterys Plus OneQueen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts Saga, #1)

    1. The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue: Not really something I liked because of the way one of the characters were treated. And I just saw that there is another book coming out as a companion I think, but I won't be reading it. Unless they have fixed what was wrong in the previous book. 

    2. Queen of Hearts series by Colleen Oakes: I only remember thinking that this book was boring and I wasn't a huge fan of it so I didn't even read it all. I remember skimming the end, knowing how it would end. And because of that, I won't continue the series. 

    The Stars Never Rise (The Stars Never Rise, #1)The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1)

    3. The Stars Never Rise series by Rachel Vincent: This one was too preachy for me. It wasn't something that I just wanted to read at the time. Bnt it's still not something I want to read, so I just think I'm done with it. 

    4. The Vincent Boys series by Abbi Glines: I know that this author is really popular, but after reading this one, I just don't see myself wanting to continue this series or her other books. To me the hype wasn't warranted. 

    The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)

    5. The Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater: Don't throw tomatoes at me, but I just don't know what it is about Stiefvater's writing that I don't care for. I DNF'ed this three times before I finally finished it and I still haven't made it through the second one. I'm not even sure why I don't like it... I just don't. 

    6. Something Strange and Deadly series by Susan Dennard: I'm not sure why I didn't read the sequels, but for some reason I just didn't. I think I was put off by the fact that they were zombies (at one time I wasn't a fan of them) but even though I really liked this one and I really liked zombies now, I don't think I'll have the time to go back and read them unless it's on audio.....

    The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed, #1)Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters, #1)

    7. The Beautiful and the Cursed series by Page Morgan: See #6... But minus the zombies and add gargoyles

    8. The Violet Eden series by Jessica Shirvington: I LOVED the first book in this series, so I'm not sure why I didn't continue the series. But now I think it's too late because there's like 5 books in the series and its been out for so long now. And as a blogger, if it's not an audio book that I can speed through, I'm more than likely not going to read it. 

    Delirium (Delirium, #1)The Glass Spare (The Glass Spare, #1)

    9. Delirium series by Lauren Oliver: Another book where I'm not really sure why I didn't like it, I just didn't. And for now, I just know I won't finish this series. 

    10.  The Glass Spare series by Lauren DeStefano: For the synopsis to be so amazing, it definitely lead me on. I was expecting it to be so epic, but it just wasn't what I expected. So, I don't think I will be continuing this one unless Amber says it may redeem itself lol 

    What about you?
    Any of these series you won't be continuing?
    Any of these you think I should give another try?

    Monday, June 25, 2018

    Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

    e-ARC, 304 pages
    Release Date: June 26, 2018
    Published by:  Saga Press
    Read from: June 18-24, 2018
    The Sixth World, #1
    Source: Edelweiss & Publisher (I received a copy of this book from the Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.
    TW: Child Death
    For fans of:  Romance, Paranormal, Supernatural, YA

         While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.
         Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.
         Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel to the rez to unravel clues from ancient legends, trade favors with tricksters, and battle dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.
          As Maggie discovers the truth behind the disappearances, she will have to confront her past—if she wants to survive.
         Welcome to the Sixth World.

    *MY THOUGHTS* 

         I have been waiting to read this for FOREVER. Soon as I was approved, I kept making excuses on why I had to read it right then. I really wanted to love this book, but it ended up being just ok. I mean, there are TWO monster fighting scenes in the whole book about a monster slayer!
    "A hole in the heart is a hole in the heart, no matter what makes it."
    4%
         Maggie Hoskie has been walking the earth with fellow five fingereds and even gods and heroes. But this also means there are monsters not far behind. After fighting off one for a small town, Maggie learns there is something way larger at stake. She and her "friend" Kai have to race the monsters to keep the five fingereds safe.
    "...evil wasn't just some spiritual concept or the deeds of a bad man. It was real, physical, more like an infectious disease. And you could catch evil if something evil got inside you. And once inside you, it could rake you over. Make you do evil things. Hurt people you wouldn't have hurt otherwise, and eventually, kill."
    6%
         I really liked certain things about this book, but others, not so much. One of the things I didn't care for, was the fact that this book was about a Navajo monster slayer, AND THERE ARE TWO MONSTER FIGHTS IN THE WHOLE BOOK. This book is over 300 pages and there are only two fights in the whole thing. I was just disappointed in it. Call me terrible, but I wanted to see more fighting and more monster slaying. "Retired" or not, I just wish there had been more.
    "I remember the first time I saw the Wall. [...] It was beautiful. It was ours. And we were safe. Safe from the outside world, at least. But sometimes the worst monsters are the ones within."
    9%
         However, I really LOVED the Navajo myths and legends and how they were depicted. THIS is the magic of #ownvoices y'all! I found myself getting swept away to Maggie world and wanting to understand it all, so I went and looked up some of their myths and legends and their gods and heroes to get more information on them. It was so interesting and I loved seeing the twists and turns that resulted in the one that this book was about.
    "Greed is universal."
    19%
         Then there was the writing style. It wasn't my favorite, but it wasn't BAD either. It just seemed like a filler; like it had second book syndrome, but it was the first one. (I'm not sure how else to explain it.) But, with the events from this book, the sequel will be EPIC and I can't wait to see what happens to a certain someone and I can't wait to see what will become of them.
    "...sometimes you defeat your enemies by making them your friends"
    95%
         This wasn't exactly the read I was expecting, but it was entertaining. And it taught me so much. And that's how I know that I've fallen for a book. If it can entertain me and teach me at the same time, then I know that this book was what I needed.
       Overall, I give this


    Sunday, June 24, 2018

    Stacking the Shelves #274 & 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 the the Publisher:
    Brave Enough

    *Another publisher saw I was interested on Twitter and that I wasn't going to ALA and decided that they would send me one anyway. There arer two tweens dancers at my branch that seem interested when I was telling them about it! 

    From Edelweiss: 
    This Cruel Design (This Mortal Coil, #2)Slayer (Slayer, #1)
    The Art of LosingSee All the Stars

    The Weekly Wrap-Up!

    Tuesday 06/12/18: Top Ten  Twelve Books on my Summer TBR!
    Wednesday 06/13/18: Waiting on Wednesday: Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus
    Friday 06/15/18: Book Blogger Hop:Worker Bees!
     Saturday 06/16/18:  No Post. 

    Me on Instagram


    I thought this was the cutest picture of our family. And such an accurate description lol Both boys were knocked out by 8:30 pm, while I was sitting there wide awake and reading. But take a guess on which of the three of us was up all day cooking and cleaning the entire house. I'll save you a guess... It wasn't a boy smh lmao 

    What went on at your blog this week?
    Leave your link in the comments! 
    How are you doing with Summer Reading? 
    Win any prizes yet? 
    Tell me in the comments!