31.10.16

ARC #Review: THE DIABOLIC by S.J. Kincaid

THE DIABOLIC

Author: S.J. Kincaid
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Summary:
A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. 

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.


As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.
Purchase:
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I thought this one had it's ups and downs: it started off really strong but then tapered off, got strong again, and then I just stopped caring. I felt as though the plot was a little too all over the place and didn't really seem to have a direct path from A to B, we had to detour through A.A, A.B, A.C, etc. until we got there.

30.10.16

October 2016 Monthly Wrap-Up!

Another month has come and gone so let's see what my reading month has been like! Below you will see what my stats were, my favourite releases, and my anticipated TBR for next month!

Reading Stats:

Total Books Read: 11
Average Rating: 4*
Books Purchased: 26
Books Received For Review: 7 (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5)
Books Pre-ordered for Next Month: 2 (YOU IN FIVE ACTS, FLASHFALL)
Books Reviewed: 10

BOY ROBOT

Author: Simon Curtis
Series: Untitled Trilogy #1
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
REVIEW!

Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Isaak discovers the truth about his origin and the underground forces that must come together to fight against a secret government organization formed to eradicate those like him in this high-octane science fiction debut.

There once was a boy who was made, not created.

In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever.

His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.

An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.

Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination.

He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground—a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future.

To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable.

Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be.

In his debut, recording artist Simon Curtis has written a fast-paced, high-stakes novel that explores humanity, the ultimate power of empathy, and the greatest battle of all: love vs. fear.
Purchase:

WE ARE STILL TORNADOES

Author: Michael Kun and Susan Mullen
Series: N/A
Source: Finished Copy via Publisher
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
Growing up across the street from each other, Scott and Cath have been best friends their entire lives. Cath would help Scott with his English homework, he would make her mix tapes (it's the 80's after all), and any fight they had would be forgotten over TV and cookies. But now they've graduated high school and Cath is off to college while Scott is at home pursuing his musical dreams.

During their first year apart, Scott and Cath's letters help them understand heartache, annoying roommates, family drama and the pressure to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. And through it all, they realize that the only person they want to turn to is each other. But does that mean they should be more than friends? The only thing that's clear is that change is an inescapable part of growing up. And the friends who help us navigate it share an unshakable bond.

This funny yet deeply moving book--set to an awesome 80's soundtrack--captures all the beautiful confusion and emotional intensity we find on the verge of adulthood...and first love.
Purchase:

REMEMBER YESTERDAY

Author: Pintip Dunn
Series: Forget Tomorrow #2
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
The sequel to the sci-fi hit Forget Tomorrow is a twisting, turning roller-coaster ride—the perfect sci-fi futuristic read.

Seventeen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific discoveries -- if only she'd let TechRA study her. But after they kidnapped and experimented on her as a child, cooperating with the scientists is the last thing Jessa would do. 

But when she discovers the past isn't what she assumed, Jessa must join forces with budding scientist Tanner Callahan to rectify a fatal mistake made ten years ago. She'll do anything to change her past -- even if it means aligning herself with the enemy she swore to defeat.
Purchase:

29.10.16

#12DaysOfDiversity Christmas Diverse Retellings Readathon TBR!

My fave Julia Ember, author of UNICORN TRACKS, is hosting another reading challenge. This time it is all about Diverse Retellings! You can learn more about the challenge, types of books you can read, etc. by reading her blog post, but today I am going to tell you my reading goals and TBR! It runs from December 19th to December 30th (and then BAMF is hosting a readathon on December 30th and 31st, but you can learn more about that on December 6th in our blog post!) so I will be home, out of school, and need a breather from everything, meaning I will be reading a LOT.

I am hoping to achieve BADASS SANTA level which is the person who achieves the most amount of points during the readathon so I may have gone overboard after Julia's announcement and bought ALL THE BOOKS (or made a wishlist for them for Overdrive/library) and have decided I will try to read as many as possible.

28.10.16

Event Recap: BRENT WEEKS at Schuler Books in Lansing, Michigan! #TheBloodMirrorInMI

On October 27, 2016, I was in the presence of the great, fantastic Brent Weeks, author of the Night Angel trilogy and the Lightbringer series, for the book tour for the next installment of the Lightbringer series, THE BLOOD MIRROR

Not only was I at the event, I was also a Blackguard Captain which meant I got some special perks and one on one time with Brent to ask all my burning questions (like, WHY ARE YOU SO AWESOME? and HOW IS YOUR BEARD SO MAJESTIC?? and the one I actually asked but see that below!). I recap the event below for you guys, plus give you a chance to win a SIGNED copy of THE BLACK PRISM so you can start this FANTASTIC series.
Let me start by saying thank you, thank you, thank you to Brent Weeks, his publicity team, and Schuler Books for making this event SO SPECIAL. I had so much fun and really enjoyed being able to be a part of the magic in a small way!

Prior to the event starting, I was able to go with the other Blackguard Captains to meet Brent and discuss things with him. I was given a really cool shirt that says "Blackguard Captain" on the front and has the book tour dates on the back and I'm going to WEAR IT FOREVER. He and his wife explained how the event would go and we divided up the tasks (I was the newsletter sign up girl). We were given cookies and pop as well and then got to ask questions about his books. Here I asked if he would be open to continuing the Lightbringer series in the same way that he will be continuing the Night Angel series and he said it was always a possibility.

27.10.16

Top 10 2017 Retellings I'm Excited For!

Today is the next instalment of the series of 2017 books I'm looking forward to and/or have pre-ordered. You can see the schedule of what you can expect below! I hope you guys learn about some great 2017 releases with these posts. If you want to see all the books I have shelved as 2017 Release, you can check out my Goodreads Shelf!


Overall (October 13) | Contemporary (Last Week) | Retellings (This Week) | Fantasy (Next Week) | Science Fiction (November 10) | Historical Fiction (November 17) | Adult Fantasy (November 24) | Adult Science Fiction (December 1)


Seeking Mansfield


Author: Kate Watson
Series: N/A
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Publication Date: 2017
What Does It Retell?  Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Summary:
Sixteen year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend and godparents' son, Oliver Bertram. If she could just take Oliver's constant encouragement to heart, she'd finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater.

When teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move across the street from the Bertram's, they immediately set their sights on Oliver and his vapid sister, Juliette, shaking up Finley and Oliver's stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Harlan finds his attention shifting from Juliette to the quiet, enigmatic, and thoroughly unimpressed Finley. Out of boredom, Harlan decides to make her fall in love with him. Problem is, the harder he seeks to win her, the harder he falls for her. 

But Finley doesn't want to be won, and she doesn't want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver's heart—and keep her own—she'll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight. 


SEEKING MANSFIELD is a charming YA contemporary reimagining of Jane Austen’s classic Mansfield Park, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell.

Why I'm Excited For It

I love Jane Austen retellings so I am very ready for this one to be released. I think it will be a great story and I am excited to see what Kate Watson brings to the original text and how she updates it to be new. I’m thinking Dani and I might review this one together on BAMF because we both live for Jane Austen.

The Duke of Bannerman Prep

Author: Katie Nelson
Series: N/A
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
What Does It Retell? The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Summary:
Words are weapons. Facts can be manipulated. And nothing is absolute—especially right and wrong.

Tanner McKay is at Bannerman Prep for only one reason: the elite school recruited him after he brought his public school’s debate team to victory last year. Bannerman wants a championship win. Debate is Tanner’s life—his ticket out of his poor-as-dirt life and family drama, straight to a scholarship to Stanford and the start of a new, better future.

But when he's paired with the Duke, his plans for an easy ride seem as if they’ve hit the rails. The Duke is the quintessential playboy, beloved by everyone for his laissez-faire attitude, crazy parties, and seemingly effortless favors.

And a total no-show when it comes to putting in the work to win.

But as Tanner gets sucked into the Duke’s flashy world, the thrill of the high life and the adrenaline of existing on the edge becomes addictive. A small favor here and there seems like nothing in exchange for getting everything he ever dreamed of.

But the Duke’s castle is built on shady, shaky secrets, and the walls are about to topple down.


A contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby, Katie Nelson’s taut debut is perfect for fans of John Green’s Looking for Alaska, Kate Brian’s Private series, and anyone who’s encountered the cut-throat world of competitive high school.
Purchase:

Why I'm Excited For It

I don’t think y’all understand how excited I am for this one. F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my all-time favourite authors and holy crap I am so excited for this. Not only is THE GREAT GATSBY a wonderful novel, I am so hyped to see how it will be updated to fit into modern times. This is my MOST anticipated release of 2017 and I cannot wait for it to be released because I already have it pre-ordered so I can read it right away!

Sea Witch

Author: Sarah Henning
Series: N/A
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 2017
What Does It Retell? The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Summary:
Pitched as the never-before-told origin story of the sea witch from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" told in the vein of Wicked – from the villainess's point of view.

Why I'm Excited For It

This is told from the villain’s point of view, which means that we get to see Ursula’s perspective on all things in this book. I am so excited for that because I feel like too often we see the hero or get a hero’s perspective but I love a good anti-hero. I have high hopes for this one.

26.10.16

#Review: A MADNESS SO DISCREET by Mindy McGinnis

A MADNESS SO DISCREET

Author: Mindy McGinnis
Source: Borrowed from Sarah
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary:
Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

Purchase:
Trigger warning for this one! It has rape and suicide in it so please be cautious when reading my little chickadees.

This one was really slow to start and even though I did enjoy it, I thought that it was kinda meh at the same time. I think it is dark and intriguing, which is always a good sign, but I thought the story took way too long to get interesting. I was a huge fan of a piece of the ending but I'm also like ehhh about whether or not you should read it.

25.10.16

ARC #Review: THE RAINS by Gregg Hurwitz

THE RAINS

Author: Gregg Hurwitz
Series: N/A

Source: ARC
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Rating: 2/5 stars

Summary:
In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek’s Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding. Most of the kids they know have been dragged away by once-trusted adults who are now ferocious, inhuman beings. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn eighteen—and Patrick’s birthday is only a few weeks away. 

Determined to save Patrick’s life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites—and what they find is horrifying.

Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity’s only hope for salvation.
Purchase:
Disclaimer: I traded for an ARC of this with Adyranna!

Wow. This didn't take me long and while I don't quite want my "precious reading time back" but it's feeling a bit like I want my precious reading time back. I only get so much time to read a week and I read this one today (well yesterday now) because I was like "this is a week overdue and I SHOULD LIKE IT so I will read it" but then I read it and blah. I don't have anything to say other than it was just blah. 

24.10.16

#Review: CHANGE PLACES WITH ME by Lois Metzger

CHANGE PLACES WITH ME

Author: Lois Metzger
Source: Purchased at Chapters
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: June 14, 2016
Rating: 1.5/5 stars

Summary:
Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was a little different. Her clothes and hair don’t suit her anymore. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There’s no more sadness in her life; she’s bursting with happiness.

But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because until very recently, she was an entirely different person—a person who’s still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27064372-change-places-with-me
Purchase:
I was really excited to read this one. I pre-ordered it then waited and waited so that I could read it as soon as I got it, but I was really let down. The premise sounds SO intriguing and as if there is a bit of a mystery to it + speculative fiction is literally my jam. But I am SO disappointed with this one and I think the main issue I have with it is that it was too short to do everything it wanted to do. This wanted to look at if it is your memories or your outlook that affects your personality, but it totally fell short and flat on that.

21.10.16

ARC #Review: BOY ROBOT by Simon Curtis

BOY ROBOT

Author: Simon Curtis
Series: Untitled Trilogy #1
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Isaak discovers the truth about his origin and the underground forces that must come together to fight against a secret government organization formed to eradicate those like him in this high-octane science fiction debut.

There once was a boy who was made, not created.

In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever.

His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.

An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.

Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination.

He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground—a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future.

To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable.

Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be.

In his debut, recording artist Simon Curtis has written a fast-paced, high-stakes novel that explores humanity, the ultimate power of empathy, and the greatest battle of all: love vs. fear.
Purchase:
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warning for violence, rape, and general bad language. 

Wow. This might be the best book I read this year. I know I only rated it four stars but that is for little things that didn't really detract from my reading but I wanted more from these pieces because the rest of the novel was SO good. There was the right mix of Science Fiction and Thriller in this one to keep me on the edge of my seat. I am so glad this is a planned trilogy because I NEED MORE from this world, these characters, and this author.

20.10.16

Top 10 2017 Contemporary Releases I'm Excited For!

Today is the next instalment in the series of 2017 books I'm looking forward to and/or have pre-ordered. You can see the schedule of what you can expect below! I hope you guys learn about some great 2017 releases with these posts. If you want to see all the books I have shelved as 2017 Release, you can check out my Goodreads Shelf!


Overall (Last Week) | Contemporary (This Week) | Retellings (Next Week) | Fantasy (November 3) | Science Fiction (November 10) | Historical Fiction (November 17) | Adult Fantasy (November 24) | Adult Science Fiction (December 1)

You Don’t Know Me But I Know You

Author: Rebecca Barrow
Series: N/A
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 2017

Summary:
A girl receives an unexpected letter from her birth mother as she and her boyfriend struggle to decide what to do about an accidental pregnancy, while facing a growing distance with her best friend, who's keeping secrets of her own.

Why I'm Excited For It

As someone who is adopted, I am very excited to read this book. I want to see how Barrow discusses the topic and what types of challenges the main character faces and how they deal with it. I can’t wait to check this one out.

The Hate U Give

Author: A.C. Thomas
Series: N/A
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: June 2016

Summary:
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

Why I'm Excited For It

This is going to be such an important book in today’s society. I have a feeling that it will be one of the books that should be on required reading in high schools around the world to see what it is like to grow up in two different worlds and not be completely sure which one you wholly belong in. This is one that everyone should be looking into immediately. 

The Gallery of Unfinished Girls

Author: Lauren Karcz
Series: N/A
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Summary:
Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn't been able to paint anything worthwhile since her award-winning piece Food Poisoning #1 last year.


Her lack of inspiration might be because her abuela is lying comatose in faraway Puerto Rico after suffering a stroke. Or the fact that Mercedes is in love with her best friend, Victoria, but is too afraid to admit her true feelings.


Despite Mercedes’s creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate.


At the Estate, Mercedes can create in ways she never has before. She can share her deepest secrets and feel safe. But Mercedes can't take anything out of the Estate, including her new-found clarity. As her life continues to crumble around her, the Estate offers more solace than she could hope for. But Mercedes can’t live both lives forever, and ultimately she must choose between this perfect world of art and truth and a much messier reality.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

Why I'm Excited For It

Art and girls loving girls? I need this in my life yesterday. This one has all the elements that I wish my high school life had: me as a talented artist with a girl who loved me back. I think this is going to be a great LGBTQ+ read and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Prince in Disguise

Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm
Series: N/A
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: 2017

Summary:
A romantic comedy in which a Mississippi teen finds herself in front of the cameras as her beauty-queen big sister prepares for a reality-TV wedding to a Scottish aristocrat.

Why I'm Excited For It

After reading THE TAMING OF THE DREW, I will read literally everything that Stephanie Kate Strohm produces. I’ve purchased her backlist titles as well because she perfects the rom-com so I cannot WAIT to see how this plays out. I think it will have giggles, tears, and swoony moments and I am very excited to get my hands on it. I’m sure Dani and I will buddy read this over on Books Are My Fandom.