Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (90) Walk on Earth a Stranger

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 12:35 AM with 9 comments
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.


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Walk on Earth a Stranger

Author: Rae Carson
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: September 22, 2015

Link to Goodreads:

The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

Why I'm Excited:

What is drawing me to this novel is the historical aspect. I'm trying to remember if I've ever read a book set during the Gold Rush, and I don't think I have. I also love a good slow-burning romance. I'm not crazy about the fact that this is the first in a trilogy (I've been doing my best to stay away from series lately), but I'll make an exception for this one. I'm loving this cover, too. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for this one.

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up!

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books Since 2012

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 12:11 AM with 7 comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list for today plus links to a whole slew of other blogs. After you read mine, of course.



Today's Topic: Favorite Books Since 2012
Holy crap this was hard! There are a lot of books I really enjoyed these past couple of years, but I've been trying to actually keep these lists to 10 (except for my season TBR lists because that will just never happen...)

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Vicious by V.E. Schwab
This book is beyond amazing. I adore it.
Winger by Andrew Smith
I almost didn't pick this one up based on this ugly ass cover, but what inside is funny and heartbreaking and just so wonderful. I cannot wait for the sequel.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I'm going to do a little gloating here...sorry. I read this book a couple of weeks after it was released back in 2012 and was blown away. I actually figured out the mystery almost immediately, but was still blown away.
The List by Siobhan Vivian
This ambitious book is a slice of life. It looks at a single week in high while following 8 different girls. I've read it a couple of times these past couple of years and was just thinking it was time for another re-read. 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I had an arc of E&P and just couldn't get into it for the life of me. I tried to read it...twice..and tried to listen to the audio book, but it just wasn't my bag. I'm so glad I gave this one a try regardless because I adore Fangirl. I love Cath and her fanfic. 
Golden by Jessi Kirby
One of my favorite aspects of this lovely little book is the positive role the English teacher plays.
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
Even though this has a cute romance, my favorite aspect of this story is the realistic mother-daughter relationship--something that is way to rare in most YA.
The Diviners by Libba Bray
People with special powers set during the Roaring 20s. Need I say more?
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Swoon, swoon, swoon. I never had a dude like this living next to me...
Tease by Amanda Maciel
This book really stayed with me. I loved how it wasn't a black and white look at bullying. The victim wasn't an angel and the bully wasn't a demon. Both girls were real. This book is a truly important work, and I admired it a lot even if I didn't necessarily love it. 

Well that's it for me. What are your favorite reads from the past couple of years? Link me up!

Hey lovely readers: I love meeting new bloggers. If you decide to follow, my preference is through Bloglovin'. If you are a new follower, please let me know and leave a link so that I can follow back. Thanks! 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Vanishing Girls (Early Book Review)

Sunday, March 1, 2015 8:02 PM with 4 comments

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Vanishing Girls

Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Dates: March 10, 2015

Synopsis from

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

"Alarming and uplifting, a rare psychological thriller that has a kind heart at its center. Read it with all the lights on." -- E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars.

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My Thoughts:
The arc of this book that I read opened with a letter from the author in which she described her thoughts about the lives of sisters. What stuck out to me about this letter was this:

     ...We form our identities in opposition to our siblings--at a certain point, we deliberately strive for separateness and difference, although in doing so we unconsciously stay very closely aware of our sibling counterparts, basing our characteristics and preferences in part on an inverted sense of what they would do/say/like. 

Again, this sincerely struck a chord deep within me. You see, I have an older sister. A sister whom I love, but have very little in common. She is 4 years older than me, and although we have a great relationship now that we are adults, we were not close growing up. We don't even look like we are related.  Where she is dark (brown hair and eyes, tans easily), I am light (blonde--very blonde as a girl--green eyes, as fair as can be). I was the wild one with, somewhat paradoxically, a deep love for reading. This isn't a new thing; books have always played a huge role in my life. Every summer, I would hole up in my room and read the summer vacation away while she wanted to play outside. Even with these nerdy tendencies, though, our first times getting drunk were mere weeks apart despite the four year gap, for example. Because of our differences, I understood this idea that these disparities between sisters may be an unconscious way to separate themselves. To find a way to be an individual. Reading this letter before reading the story also helped open my eyes to the writing and the characteristics of our two main characters. I was conscious of what the author was trying to do which could have ended up being a bad thing, but I liked the awareness.  

Nick and Dara were always close until the two got into a terrible car accident some months before the start of our story. The circumstances of the accident are a bit of a mystery as Nick doesn't really remember it, and Dara--who was once so beautiful--doesn't want to talk about it as it has left her face scarred. After spending the past couple of months with her father, Nick is about to live in the same house as Dara again and she is resolute that she will find away for the two of them to connect and be close again. Dara, however, doesn't want anything to do with her older sister. 

It isn't just the accident that has driven a wedge between the two of them, though, there is also a boy (of course). Parker, the gorgeous boy next door, has been Nick's best friend for years. The two have always done things together--with Dara tagging behind--but in the months before the accident things began to change between the two of them. They changed because sexy, wild Dara decided to make Parker her own. Even though the two split up before the accident, things don't feel complete between the two...and things between Nick and Parker are still off, as well. 

When Nick's mom decides that Nick is going to work at the local amusement park, the same park that Parker happens to work at, Nick is forced to examine her own feelings about her former best friend, and Dara's former boyfriend.

While I ultimately ended up liking this one quite a bit, not everything in this story worked for me. There is a sub-plot about a missing little girl that didn't quite fit, in my opinion, although it ties to Dara's own disappearance over half-way through the story. Honestly, even though I was enjoying this story, I ended up putting it down for a couple of weeks because it wasn't holding my attention completely.

What ended up making this story for me were two things: 1. the realistic look at sister relationships which is honestly quite refreshingly done in this book, and 2. the last 25% or so of the book when it both picks up the pace and throws in a couple of serious loopy-loops I didn't see coming. 

In the end, I would definitely recommend this book--especially if you have a sister. It is so hard to write realistic family dynamics, and Ms. Oliver does it splendidly here. While my personality is probably more in-line with Dara's, I really liked Nick and found myself siding with her. And while the mystery aspect wasn't my favorite (which is weird because I LOVE a good mystery), it was hard for me to put down in the third act because I just had to know what happened. This was well-written and different. 

Definitely Recommend. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Weekly Rewind 2.28.15

Friday, February 27, 2015 11:28 PM with 7 comments



Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves and my week in a nutshell.




Since I started this blog I've participated in Stacking the Shelves, which is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and I'm going to continue linking to that meme. Throughout my student teaching semester I was using my weekend post as a way to let people know what's going on in my life, so I've decided to rename my weekend post because this feature is more personal than just what books I've received. The Weekly Rewind will be about what's going on with me and my blog, as well as about the books I've added to my shelves.


My Life and Blog

Life: Not a whole lot going on this week. My classes are getting geared up to take the state writing test. This is my first experience with actual high stakes testing, and I have to admit that I'm super nervous to see how my students do. I feel like I've taught them what they need to know, but it is still nerve-wracking. I have two more weeks until I'm home again for spring break. I'm looking forward to a week off. Even with my long weekend home, February felt like forever. As of now, I don't have any plans to go home in April or May, but I really don't know if I can go the 11 weeks in between spring break and the end of the school year without seeing my husband and cats. 11 weeks is just so long.

Blog and new books: I did both a TTT and WoW post this week, and I also looked at the HB vs PB of The Winner's Curse in my own Why, Publishers, Why?! post. I have several new books (and movies) to share with you this week. So without further adieu, I hope you are all having fabulous weekends!

For Review

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Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
I'm a little over half-way through this right now. While I'm enjoying it--especially the deep look at sister relationships--I'm not enthralled with it. I hope to finish it this weekend and will hopefully get a review up next week.
Everybody Knows Your Name by Andrea Seigel and Brent Bradshaw
I've been really excited for this book about two teens in an American Idol/Big Brother reality show hybrid. It sounds really fun, and I love this quirky cover. 
Split Second by Sophie McKenzie
I keep forgetting I have this--and it sound really good! It's about two teens whose lives are affected by a London terrorist attack. As the girl gets closer to the fella, however, she realizes he may know more about it than he is letting on. 
Tether by Anna Jarzab
I still need to read Tandem, but it is high on my TBR, so I couldn't help but snag the sequel. 

What I snagged from the library

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Books:
Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
It's hard to ignore all the four and five star reviews all of my GR/blogger friends have given this. I hope I'm not the black sheep...
Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond
Rival circus families. That's all I need to know about this. 
Cut to the Chase edited by Linda Venis
I love books about writing. This compilation about screenwriting, which I'm a couple of chapters into, is interesting, well-written, and inspiring so far. 
Audio:
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
I listened to the first book this week. A few CDs in, I ordered the next one so I could immediately continue with the series. While I have to admit that I'm not as enamored with the series as a lot of my friends, I am enjoying it quite a bit. 
Movies:
Laggies with Kiera Knightley and Chloe Grace Moretz
From what I've gathered this is about an adult who can't figure out how to adult who befriends a young teen. I love both of these women, so I'm excited for this film.
This is Where I Leave You with Tina Fey and Jason Bateman
I've read this novel...twice...and loved it, so I cannot wait to watch the movie version.

Both of these films will definitely get watched this weekend, so I hope to have reviews up next week. 

Well that's it for me this week. Feel free to leave a link to whatever weekend post you do (Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, etc). I love to see what books people have recently snagged and especially enjoy hearing about my fellow bloggers' weeks. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why, Publishers, Why?! (Episode 7)

Thursday, February 26, 2015 2:51 AM with 8 comments
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My biggest pet peeve is when beautiful HBs turn into lackluster PBs. I completely understand that publishers may choose to change the cover due to various reasons, low sales especially, but the thing for me is: I don't buy new hardcover books. Ever. I can't afford them and I just simply prefer soft covers. Trade PB has always been my preferred format. So when I'm salivating over a HB cover only to have it change before it comes out into PB it makes me CRAZY. Publishers would probably make MORE money on PB sales if they kept the amazing HB covers!

That's why I call this post:

Why, Publishers, Why?!

Today's Pick:

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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I know this isn't THAT different, but that is the issue! The best part of the HB is the way in which she is holding on to the R. So pretty! Also, I have to say that I prefer the muted colors of the HB. Her blond hair looks weird that bright on the PB. I've been waiting for this to come out in PB (March 3). I read the ARC, but need a finished copy. I'm super bummed about this change.

Which one do you prefer? The HB or the PB? Neither? Sound off below!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (89) The Dead House

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 10:57 PM with 7 comments
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.


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The Dead House

Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: September 15, 2015

Link to Goodreads:

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . . 

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you've finished reading.

Why I'm Excited:
I love "mixed-media" storytelling, so this sounds really fun. I also love a good creeper, and this sounds promising as far as chills are concerned. I'm not a fan of the cover, honestly--although I do like the building--but it isn't a deal breaker. I'll definitely be keeping my eye open for this one. 

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Best. Heroines. Ever.

Monday, February 23, 2015 10:29 PM with 10 comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list for today plus links to a whole slew of other blogs. After you read mine, of course.



Today's Topic: Best. Heroines. Ever.

Books:

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Jessica Darling from, well the Jessica Darling series, is my spirit animal. Sarcastic, smart, and independent.  
Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games is a no-brainer. She kicks ass. Period. 
Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series is one of my favorite characters of all time. She is smart and sassy and brave and awesome. 
Frankie Landau-Banks from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is whip-smart and a feminist. I adore her. 
Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice was smart and independent before those were considered virtues for women. She's awesome. 

TV:

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Angela Chase from My So-Called Life. I was in high school when MSCL was on the air, and I immediately identified with Angela. I cried when it was cancelled and wrote in to the studio. When MTV picked it up, I recorded every episode on VHS tapes and can still recite whole episodes verbatim. I've upgraded from self-recorded VHS tapes when it was re-released on DVD a couple of years back. I can not even begin to explain how much I love this show. I just need to do a post on it already...
Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation is hilarious and smart and dedicated. She loves her friends and loves her job. And how cute are her and Ben? 

Movies:

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Kat Straford from 10 Things I Hate About You is so awesome. Based on The Taming of the Shrew, Julia Stiles does a great job showing how few fucks Kat gives about what anybody else thinks of her. Love. 

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Cher Horowitz from Clueless may seem like a brainless fashionista, but deep down she really cares about her friends and family and just wants them to be happy. 
Olive Pendergast from Easy A refuses to lay down and take it when she starts to get slut-shamed. Instead she sews a bunch of "Scarlet As" on lingerie tops and flips everyone the bird. 

Well that's it for me. Who are your favorite heroines? Link me up!

Hey lovely readers: I love meeting new bloggers. If you decide to follow, my preference is through Bloglovin'. If you are a new follower, please let me know and leave a link so that I can follow back. Thanks!