Aug 15, 2017

Review | Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: October 6, 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.

Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here -- it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.

Carry On - The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.

Thoughts: Carry On is based on the fan fiction from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, although you can read this without reading Fangirl first (like I did.) I wasn't expecting Carry On to be such a fun read, but it truly was. From hilarious characters and interactions, to such obvious similarities to HP, Carry On is definitely a book I truly loved.

Simon was a great character, and I loved him, along with all the other characters. At first, I kept comparing this story to HP but then I realized that it was kind of done this way on purpose, sort of a parody to all the books that have a "chosen one." Simon is a particularly terrible chosen one, constantly getting into terrible situations, and ultimately destroying things in his path (but what else could we expect?) He has an arch enemy, Baz, who he constantly needs to be fighting off, so when he doesn't show up for the first few weeks of school, Simon is weary of what this might mean.

If you're unaware, like I was, Carry On is also a LGBTQ read (highlight to read possible spoiler) → and we find out sort of early on that Baz has been hopelessly in love with Simon for years. This sort of creates a twist in the story, but it's still such a fun take on the story. Overall, I really enjoyed Carry On and it has become one of my favorites.

Aug 14, 2017

Unfinished Reads #4

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

I was extremely disappointed, I couldn’t even really read the book, sort of had to skim to the end. The writing was choppy and I had a hard time liking or connecting with the protagonist. While dealing with such a difficult topic, I found the author sort of rushed the ending and wrapped it up too nicely to feel realistic. Not what I was expecting; this book was not for me.


Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford

I found this book to be dull, and really had a hard time concentrating on the story. I did not finish it because I was not able to connect with the MC. The character development wasn’t well executed, and felt no problem just DNF’ing this one. I am only giving this two stars because some of the secondary characters were a bit more interesting and the story had potential.


The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

All I could really think while reading this was, "What the hell is this about?!" and then about 20 pages in I realized I didn't want to waste my reading time this summer trying to make myself like something I didn't even understand. So I skimmed a few more pages, nothing caught my interest, and I decided not to continue.

Rating: DNF

Honeybee: Poems Short Prose by Naomi Shihab Nye

I was excited to read this book of poetry but it turned out to be a little boring; the poems didn't flow with one another and for the most part, I couldn't connect with them. I also skimmed through her short stories cause I found myself not caring.

Rating: DNF

Cathy's Book by by Jordan Weisman, Sean Stewart, Cathy Brigg

I was intrigued at the beginning of the book, but around half-way I really lost interest. It was written in sort of a diary entry but there were some fantastical elements that weren't immediately explained. Either way, I found myself not connecting with the MC and really didn't want to know the secrets she was trying to uncover. After about 40% I decided to skim to the end, but I was okay leaving this one unfinished.

Rating: DNF

Aug 13, 2017

Sunday Post #3

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

These past few weeks have been a little bit quieter around here, since I haven't posted much of anything on here. I did read more though and that was great. My new job has me working afternoons so I'm able to wake up a little later and read in the mornings, so it's been really nice.

- When by Victoria Laurie 
- Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

Books Read (two weeks-ish):
- Bang by Barry Lyga
- Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows
- French Milk by Lucy Knisley
- Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel
- To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
- Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
- P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
- Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
- Boys Over Flowers, Vol. 1 by Yoko Kamio

I had a great couple of reading weeks because I participated in the Booktubeathon and the Alphabethon, which did push me through a lot of books. I really enjoyed most of the books I picked up too, and am now only 2 books behind my Goodreads goals, so yay!

I haven't included my hauls to these posts but I see that most bloggers out there do, and I'm wondering if I should too? I normally upload an end of the month haul video on my YT channel, but I'm thinking that I might post a weekly haul for these posts. Would that be something you guys would wanna see too? I don't normally get too many books in one week, and my latest haul video (that I haven't uploaded yet) will be a collective one because I've accumulated only a couple books every few months (but they've added up now!)

Let me know your thoughts, and I would love to know what else I could incorporate into these posts to improve them. Maybe more images?

Aug 1, 2017

A Quick Update

I was doing really well for a couple weeks there and then the Booktubeathon happened over on YouTube and Instagram and Twitter, that I literally forgot to post anything here for a couple days. By the time I remembered it was already half way through the week and I was trying to read more for the readathon, so I decided to take a week off from blogging. Now the readathon is over and I decided to join a new one for this week. So I decided to pop over here really quick and say that I'll try to post a review or two this week, or something, but it's not likely.

I am really excited to be participating in these readathons, they've pumped me up to read more, and I was sort of going in and out of slumps for the past couple months there, and now I'm not. I posted my TBR for my current readathon (the Alphabethon) which just started today and goes until August 6th. I had a lot of fun choosing the books for this one, and am going to be reading books that have been on my shelves for years. Although to be honest, I am currently still reading one of the Booktubeathon books at the moment. But I am going to get to my new TBR soon!

Anyways, I'll be back to regular posting next week when I have more time to focus on my blog. I know that I could probably get a review out every day but I really have been using all my free time to read, and that has been really nice.

Happy reading :)

Jul 21, 2017

Review | Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

Title: Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano
Series: Diary of a Haunting #1
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: August 25, 2015 by Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★

Synopsis: When Paige moves from LA to Idaho with her mom and little brother after her parents’ high-profile divorce, she expects to completely hate her new life, and the small town doesn’t disappoint. Worse yet, the drafty old mansion they’ve rented is infested with flies, spiders, and other pests Paige doesn’t want to think about.

She chalks it up to her rural surroundings, but it’s harder to ignore the strange things happening around the house, from one can of ravioli becoming a dozen, to unreadable words appearing in the walls. Soon Paige’s little brother begins roaming the house at all hours of the night, and there’s something not right about the downstairs neighbor, who knows a lot more than he’s letting on.

Things only get creepier when she learns about the sinister cult that conducted experimental rituals in the house almost a hundred years earlier.
The more Paige investigates, and the deeper she digs, the clearer it all becomes: whatever is in the house, whatever is causing all the strange occurrences, has no intention of backing down without a fight.

Found in the aftermath, Diary of a Haunting collects the journal entries, letters, and photographs Paige left behind.

Thoughts: The idea of Diary of a Haunting creeps me out. Writing this review is kind of creeping me out, in all honesty. I couldn't read this book at night, because like with a scary movie, it would freak me out to try and go to sleep afterwards. The thing is, not much happens in the book.

Paige, the MC, moves into a creepy house with her mom and brother, and she notices some weird things. They can be brushed off as paranoia or her imagination, and since we are reading from a diary format, not much is explained which didn't work out that great for the story in some cases. The sense of dread scared me most, thinking that something really creepy was going to happen made it worse. Nothing really creepy happens, and then the ending was terrible.

I didn't give it a higher rating because the conclusion was both really weird and felt really rushed. It was like someone completely different wrote the ending and it just did not work out well. I don't want to spoil anything but the ending is probably complained about the most on Goodreads (seriously, go check it out.) But speaking of authors, I can't seem to find a picture of the author, or much of anything else. That probably creeped me out the most.

Jul 20, 2017

Review | When by Victoria Laurie

Title: When by Victoria Laurie
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: January 13, 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis:  Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late?

Thoughts: I was really intrigued by When because it reminded me of a book I read years ago, Numbers. I didn't wait long before picking it up and read it rather quickly. Unfortunately this didn't quite live up to my expectations.

Maddie is more of a serious character, mature for a teenage girl, since she's dealing with issues in her home life. I definitely liked her, and I also enjoyed the idea that she could see people's death dates. The story itself though, was pretty unrealistic (besides the whole death-day-seeing thing) and also felt really predictable. I realized I knew what was going to happen next in every plot twist, and that made me just want to finish it off quickly.

It was still an entertaining read, but there wasn't much to the story that came as a surprise or felt that classified it as a "thriller" per se. Maybe it just wasn't for me. Overall though, it was an okay read, but my favorite part of it is definitely the cover.

Jul 16, 2017

Sunday Post #2

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I was hoping to read more than I did this week, but unfortunately that did not happen. I did somehow manage to find myself in the middle of 6 books. I put a few on hold, and am slowly working through the rest, but I am enjoying all of them. Also, I am pretty happy that I have been posting regularly.

I really liked this feature last week, and I found a few new blogs. After going through my blog feed I noticed that a lot of the blogs I used to follow are inactive and so I am looking forward to finding more blogs now that are active, as well.

On my blog this week:
- Review | Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
- Blog Tour + Giveaway! | The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke
- Review | Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
- Review | You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Leviathan

Currently reading:
- The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
- Boys Over Flowers, Vol.1
- Bang by Barry Lyga
- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Finished reading:
Nothing! :(

YouTube: I finally uploaded a new video on my YT channel today as well, sharing my Summer TBR even though were almost a month into the summer. I wanted to upload it sooner but wasn't able to.

Hope everyone has a great Sunday and week. Happy reading :D

Jul 14, 2017

Review | You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Leviathan

Title: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Leviathan
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: June 7, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis:  Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

Thoughts: You Know Me Well was one of the first books I've read that fall into the #OwnVoices category and the LGBT genre. But it was sort of a let down. The story was interesting, and it was told in a dual POV but I had a hard time connecting with Kate. I did like Mark, and wanted him to be happy, but also wanted him to stop pining over his best friend.

I got through the story really quickly because it was such a short book, told in about a night(ish) so it also felt like it needed a bit more. I still liked the book but wasn't all that impressed overall.