Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #114

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Heart of Iron 
Series: N/A
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Publication Date: February 27, 2017

Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.
Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.
When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.
What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

Find Heart of Iron online!

Why I'm waiting on Heart of Iron this Wednesday: Okay, so I've heard some really great things about this one and there's been a lot of excitement.  I don't know a whole lot about it (besides what is in the blurb) but I'm hoping this one will be good!  Plus, it has an awesome cover. 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?  Have you heard anything about this book?  Are you looking forward to it?  So far I haven't heard anything really negative so I'm hoping that's a good sign!  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and leave a link so I can visit your post! 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Top Ten Books I Read in School!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which we share out top ten lists relating to the bookish topic assigned that week.

This week's topic is...

Books I Read in School!






Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Challenger Deep by Neal Schusterman 
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia 
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
Sold by Patricia McCormick
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

So, to be fair, most of these were college reads from Young Adult and Children's lit classes I took.  Those classes were amazing and the reading lists included books I would have wanted to read anyways!  All of these books were so amazing and left such an impact on me.  What books did you like reading in school?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: So Good

Title: So Good 
Series: Alpha Dogs #1 
Author: Nicola Rendell 
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Self-Published 
Publication Date: August 7, 2017

On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. She’s naked, she’s gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn’t just any woman making his knees buckle. It’s his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he’ll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.
Rosie can’t help but notice that Max is suddenly acting very strange—lots of long stares, totally tongue-tied, and not at all like the slightly cocky hunk she’s proud to call her best friend. She can’t figure it out, until later that night when Max rescues her from the world’s worst date, challenges her to a game of pool, and shows her just exactly what she’s got him thinking about. Repeatedly.
But life is complicated. Rosie’s cat, Julia Caesar, wants to eat Max’s dog Cupcake for an afternoon snack. A dream job threatens to pull them apart. And another glance through the skylight changes everything, one more time. Yet try as they might, they can’t go back to being just friends, because falling in love with the one you’ve always adored?
It feels so good.

Find So Good online!
This book was far from perfect but it was entertaining.  It was the kind of book that made me want to pick it up and once I picked it up, it kept me reading.  There were some parts that made me cringe or roll my eyes, but for the most part, it was a genuinely enjoyable and mostly angst-free romance!

Okay, so if I'm being totally honest, I was not a fan of Max at the beginning of this book.  I didn't like how he spied on Rosie, even though it was plainly laid out in the blurb.  Like, I knew it was coming but it was creepy and his sudden revelation afterwards that she was the woman for him had me rolling my eyes.  He sees her naked and suddenly realizes he loves her?  Mhmm, okay.  He gets better after that, though.  It's clear he cares so deeply for Rose, with a solid foundation of friendship.  They were so sweet together and I loved learning little tidbits about their past. 
Rosie was a great heroine; she was incredibly strong but also soft.  She wasn't afraid of being a bit vulnerable, even though she was terrified of losing her friendship with Max.  I just really love how important their friendship was to them.  Since they were friends before anything romantic happened between them, they had this trust with each other that wouldn't be there otherwise.  It was so sweet and swoony.  

The plot was great and kept me interested and I really liked how it was just easy to read.  There was no huge drama fests, no unnecessary angst.  It was so refreshing and it made me happy to read.  It was just a genuinely fun time.  ALSO!  I loved the role their pets took in this book.  They were so freaking funny I was laughing out loud at times.  Especially the cat, Julia Caesar.  She reminded me so much of my cat!  

While So Good was entertaining and fun to read, there were definitely some problems and it wasn't very memorable.  It was one of those books that I enjoyed while reading but more than likely won't pick up again.  Still, I'm glad I read it and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next from this author.  

"He was my rock. He was my compass. Our friendship was my anchor."

Three Teapots

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: Bad Romance

Title: Bad Romance 
Series: None
Author: Heather Demetrios
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Source: Gifted.  Thank you!

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.
Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.
Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Find Bad Romance online!
Wow.  Wow.  This book was . . . amazing.  It was heart-wrenching and intense and scary but so amazing and so necessary.  It honestly felt really eye opening to read.  It follows an abusive relationship between Grace and Gavin and some of the behaviors that Gavin exhibited . . . were unnervingly similar to the behaviors of a lot of fictional male characters that are very well liked in the community and have been in the past (Hello, Edward Cullen).  Also, I feel like I should warn anyone who would like to know, there are some triggering themes in this novel such as: self-harm, sexual abuse, rape, verbal and physical abuse, and suicide.  It's not a book that's read lightly but it's definitely one I'm glad to have read.

There's been a lot of talk about this book and a lot of mixed opinions, largely due to the way in which it was written.  It's an interesting POV . . . it's told in first person but the narrator, Grace, is addressing her abuser, Gavin, as "you", making it feel at times like the reader is Gavin.  (Example: "I gave you my heart on a silver f*cking platter and you ate it, piece by bloody piece." Example taken from the book.)  This writing style didn't bother me at all; in fact, I found it really compelling to read and it made the story feel more personal for me.  

Okay, so the story itself, like I said, was super intense.  It's so hard to read because the book makes you feel exactly what Grace was feeling.  When she liked Gavin, it was hard not to like him.  When she was scared of him, I was scared of him.  When she hated him, I hated him.  Demetrios just knows how to pull out emotions from her readers, and with content that is so emotionally charged already, it was hard not to get completely swept up in it.

What was the most unnerving aspect of this book (for me, at least), was how often I had seen Gavin's abusive behaviors in other young adult and even adult books.  In nearly every other book I've read, these abusive behaviors have been written about and cast in a positive and even charming light.  **Very mild spoiler ahead** The most glaring example was when Grace finds out that Gavin's been watching her sleep without her knowledge.  Sound familiar?  Yeah, Edward Cullen did that (and I'm sure other heroes I'm forgetting) and it was viewed as something sweet and romantic and not totally creepy, like it is.  It's so harmful to provide people, especially young teens, with content that glorifies these abusive behaviors and doesn't call them out for what they are.  It was so nice to see these behaviors called out in this book.   

I loved how important friendships were in this book for Grace.  Her two friends, Nat and Lys, were absolutely amazing and it was so great to see how they stuck by Grace and were always there for her, no matter what.  Reading about their friendship made me want to go hug my own friends.  They were just so awesome and it was nice to see such important female friendships highlighted in this book.  

I have much more I can say about this book but I think I'll go ahead and stop here.  Bottom line is: this book was intense and important and amazing, but also triggering.  It deals with a lot of heavy topics, so if you're going to read it, make sure you're prepared and taking care of yourself.  I'm glad I read this book and I'm happy for the impact it has made in my life. 

“When you're a stupid girl in love, it's almost impossible to see the red flags. It's so easy to pretend they're not there, to pretend everything is perfect.” 

Five out of Five Teapots

The author, Heather Demetrios, provides information on her website and in the back of this book on how to recognize the signs of abuse and how to help yourself or someone you know out of an abusive relationship.  For all the information and resources she provides, visit this page.

Phone number for the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673) 

Phone number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #113

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Jane, Unlimited 
Series: None
Author: Kristin Cashore 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books 
Publication Date: September 19, 2017

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.
Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family's island mansion called Tu Reviens.
Jane remembers her aunt telling her: "If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you'll go." With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn't know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price. 

Find Jane, Unlimited online!

Why I'm waiting on Jane, Unlimited this Wednesday: I haven't heard a whole lot about this book to be perfectly honest, but I loved Cashore's last series and I'm really looking forward to seeing how this book goes!  It sounds promising and very strange and I can't wait!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?  Are you looking forward to this book?  Did you read and like the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore?  Let me know in the comments below! 

Imagination Designs
Images from StarCityDesigns