Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  You can also check out Can't-Wait Wednesday hosted by Wishful Endings.

The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: November 7, 2017

I LOVED the first two books in the Mara Dyer series because of Noah Shaw.  He is one of my favorite YA characters, so I was beyond excited to see there would be a new book/series from his point of view.  In fact, my biggest problem with the final book in the Mara Dyer series was the fact there wasn't enough of Noah.  He is what kept the pages turning and brought life to the story in my opinion.  A complete book with Noah is an absolute must have for me.

Goodreads Overview:

The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions, #1)In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

COYER Summer Reading List Sign-Up


It is almost time for the Summer COYER challenge.  As usual we have three amazing hostesses: Michelle @ Because Reading is Better than Real Life, Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun.  The official sing-up post is over at the COYER web-site.

I have participated in the COYER challenges since the summer of 2015 and always look forward to it.  I am REALLY excited about this challenge because the rules are almost non-existent.  ANY book on your TBR list will count as long as it was acquired legally.  
The challenge will run from Midnight on June 17th and ends September 8th.  The review link will close on September 9th.

I am going to join the Summer Reading List Challenge and selected the following 30 books to read this summer.  
  1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
  2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  3. United We Spy by Ally Carter
  4. Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout
  5. Crossed by Ally Condie
  6. Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray Kacvinsky
  7. High Five by Janet Evanovich
  8. Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell
  9. Mrs. de Winter by Susan Hill
  10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  11. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
  12. The 6th Target  by James Patterson
  13. Elegy by Tara Hudson 
  14. Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
  15. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
  16. Love Show by Audrey Bell
  17. Ensnared by A.G. Howard
  18. Between the Lines by Tammara Webber
  19. Until the Beginning by Amy Plum
  20. Firewalker by Josephine Angelini
  21. Invaded by Melissa Landers
  22. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  23. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  24. Never Never by Colleen Hoover
  25. See How They Run by Ally Carter
  26. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan
  27. Cress by Marissa Meyer
  28. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  29. One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank
  30. Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
This was a bit of a challenge in and of itself because I'm never quite sure what I'm going to read next.  The hostesses; however, were kind enough to create a loophole.  For every five books completed you can add an additional five books to your list.  This will allow you to add an ARC that arrived unexpectedly or that amazing find in the little free library that you simply can't wait until fall to read.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review: The Death Cure by James Dashner

The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)

The Death Cure is the third book in the Maze Runner series.  In this installment WICKED continues its research to find a cure for the Flare virus, which is threatening to eliminate the human race.  They have been studying the brain patterns of the immune population, but their tactics are becoming more and more desperate.  Thomas and his friends escape from WICKED and join the resistance, but they soon discover their end goals aren't in sync.  They ultimately decide to work with them because they feel their is safety in numbers with the hopes of converting them to their line of thinking.

Overall, I thought The Maze Runner had a great premise with the "gladers" trying to escape from the maze.  It was very original and I enjoyed the characters with their unique language and quirks.  I gave the first book 4 stars and jumped right into The Scorch trials.  I was a bit disappointed with book two and gave it 3 stars.  In keeping with this trend, The Death Cure fell even shorter from the mark and I ultimately decided to give it 2 stars.

 It felt like the author was grasping for straws to continue the series and wasn't really sure how he wanted it to conclude.  Should everything be doom and gloom to keep with the majority of the series or should there be a happily ever after?  I think he tried to give readers a combination of the two, but it came across as awkward.  I also didn't feel like there was a lot of new content to keep the story going.  We kept rehashing the same things and fighting the same people with very little progression to the story.

I realize my opinion is not part of the majority.  This was a very popular series that received a lot of hype in YA circles and was even converted into a movie series.  I wouldn't discourage someone from reading it if it is on their TBR list, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to others.  


Friday, May 12, 2017

Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

Unhinged is the second book in the Splintered series, which is based upon Alice in Wonderland.  Alyssa is the descendent of Alice and is half human / half netherling.  She must decide if she will embrace her magic and help save Wonderland or if she will remain in the mortal world with her human boyfriend Jeb. 

When Wonderland starts to invade the human realm it is no longer an option.   Alyssa must fight to defeat Red or she will lose everyone she loves.  She also discovers that her feelings for Morpheus aren't as black and white as she thought.  Morpheus is her childhood friend from Wonderland, who has been teaching and preparing her for this moment her entire life.  She always thought his intentions were self-centered, but the more she learns about their past the more she realizes he has always protected her and had her best interest in mind.

Personally, I am on team Morpheus.  Alyssa can't live in the human world without being perceived as crazy or "unhinged".  If she were to choose to live in Wonderland she would be Queen and all would be right in that world once again.  Besides, I love Morpheus's cocky attitude and who doesn't love a British accent?

This was an excellent sequel to Splintered and I can't wait to see how this series will conclude.  Ms. Howard left most of the characters hanging in the balance at the end of this installment, which will certainly encourage readers to jump right into the final book in this series.  I gave Unhinged 4 stars and will definitely include Ensnared on my Summer TBR list.

I had the chance to meet A.G. Howard at BEA in 2014 and picked up an autographed copy of Unhinged.  I absolutely love the cover of this book and will keep the signed copy even though I have now completed it.  I typically tear out the autographed page from free books I receive at conferences to add to my collection and place the books in my local little free library.  I feel it is better to share the books with other readers than to hoard them on my shelves collecting dust, but I don't think I am going to be able to part with this one.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Starlight Nights by Stacey Kade



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  You can also check out Can't-Wait Wednesday hosted by Wishful Endings.

Starlight Nights by Stacey Kade
Release Date: January 9, 2018

Stacey Kade is the author of the Ghost and the Goth series as well as the Project Paper Doll series.  738 Days was her first NA book and is an exceptionally good read that I would highly recommend.  It is about a girl who was kidnapped and escaped after 738 days.  The majority of the book is about Amanda coping with life after the incident.  We were also introduced to Chase Henry, who was a child star who has fallen from grace in Hollywood.  They both have everything to gain from the media attention their meeting has sparked, but this relationship turns into far more than either of them could have imagined.  Starlight Nights is a companion novel to 738 Days, so Amanda and Chase will not be the focus of the story, but I can't wait to see how life has been treating them since the conclusion of 738 Days.  

Overview:

At twenty ­three, Calista Beckett is trying to overcome her early fame and fortune. The former savior of the world on Starlight is now a freshman at college—miles away from L.A. and her former existence. She sees it as her start to a new life, a normal life, one where she won’t make the same mistakes she made before—a brush with heroin addiction and losing her freedom to her controlling mother, thanks to a court order.
Eric Stone played her older brother, Byron, on Starlight. But she’s been in love with him pretty much since they kissed—her first kiss—while auditioning. When Eric shows up on campus out of the blue, Calista’s struck immediately by two things: first, in spite of everything that’s happened, she still feels something dangerous for him, and second, she’s absolutely determined not to let him ruin her life again.
Only Eric’s not going away so easily.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review: Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready

Lust for Life (WVMP Radio, #4)

Lust for Life is the fourth book in the WVMP Radio series, which is about a group of vampires working as DJ's at a local radio station.  I gave the first three books in this series 5 stars and eagerly picked up an autographed copy of this "recently released" final book in the series.


Well...The release date was November 2012 and I purchased my copy at the 2013 RT Convention in Chicago.  I can't believe it took me 4 years to finally read this book, but I'm certainly glad that I did.  All of my favorite characters were back for another action packed adventure.

Shane and Ciara are busy planning their wedding and their best friends/co-workers are expecting their first child.  Just when you think everyone is going to receive my version of a happily ever after, one of Shane's ex-donors calls to tell him that Jim (another vampire DJ who is being held at a Control facility after attacking Ciara in the previous book) changed her into a vampire shortly before his incident with Ciara..  Shane and the other WVMP staff take her under their wings, but that is just the beginning of their problems.  Jim escapes from the Control facility and the story takes off from there.  

I have read a lot of fiction over the years and can easily comprehend the rules of vampires.  They can't go out into the sunlight, they live forever, they have compulsions, etc.  Overall, I loved all of the characters and their stories throughout this series; however, I could not grasp the unusual turn of events that took place the last several chapters of this book.  Taking liberties with "the rules" is one thing, but this was unbelievable in my opinion.  You can rationalize why things happened all you want, but the ending of this book was a bit too unrealistic for me.  It really felt like Jeri jumped through hoops to provide the characters with her version of a perfect ending.  

Perhaps my expectations were a little high, but I ended up giving this book 3.5 stars.  It is still a very entertaining read, but I just can't get past the fact that it took the word fiction to a whole new level.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Bookish Goals Status Update: April 2017


In an effort to help keep myself on track, I am going to post monthly status updates showing where I stand for each of my 2017 Goals.

Anything highlighted in gray is currently in progress, but not yet completed.

  • Read and review at least 40 books 
    1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
    2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton
    3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
    4. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
    5. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
    6. The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
    7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
    8. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
    9. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready

  • I am once again participating in the New To You Challenge hosted by The Herd Presents.  I'm going to aim for 12-15 books. Any book over 80 pages qualifies as long as it is new to you.  New author, new genre, new series, etc.
    1. Three Dark Crowns - New Series and New Author
    2. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout - New Series and New Author
  • Read at least 10 New Adult books (My definition of NA = protagonists are post high school, but under 30)
    1. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
    2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
    3. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready
    • Last year I read three of the books that had been on my TBR list the longest.  I now have 46 books that were all added on September 7, 2010 that would qualify.  I plan on reading at least 3 more of them this year. 

    • Finish reading at least 5 series I have already started.  (I have several trilogies with final books I still need to read. 
      1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater - The Raven Cycle Series
      2. This Girl by Colleen Hoover - The Slammed Series 
      3. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton - Everneath Series
      4. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready
    • TBR Challenge.  For this challenge I want to read at least 20 books that were on my TBR list AND were published prior to January 1, 2017.
      1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
      2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton
      3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
      4. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
      5. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
      6. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
      7. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
      8. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready

      • Achieve a Professional level in the 2017 Prequel and Sequel Challenge hosted by Novel Heartbeat with 76 - 100 points. You can click on the link for the sign up.
        1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #4_ - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #2) - 2 pts for a sequel
        3. This Girl by Colleen Hoover (Slammed #3) -12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        4. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #3) - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        5. The Black Circle (39 Clues #5) - 2 points for a sequel
        6. Where She Went by Gayle Forman (If I Stay #2) - 2 pts for a sequel
        7. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready (WVMP #4) 12 pts (finished series +sequel)

                                                          Total Points = 54
      • I joined the New Release Challenge hosted by Unconventional Book Views and Books, Movies, Reviews Oh My! My goal is to reach New Release Newbie level with 16 new releases read/reviewed during 2017.  The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages.