Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Dare You by Jennifer Brown

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Dare You by Jennifer Brown (Nikki Kill #2)
Release Date - February 14, 2017

I received an ARC of Shade Me and really enjoyed it.  I can't wait to see what is in store for Nikki next.

Dare You (Nikki Kill #2)Goodreads Overview: 

In the second book of the suspenseful Shade Me trilogy, Nikki Kill becomes embroiled in another mystery where only her synesthesia can help her unravel the dark truth.

Nikki Kill didn’t realize that trying to find out who killed Peyton Hollis would tangle her in a web of dangerous family secrets that would rock her identity to the core. But now that Nikki knows the truth, the all-powerful Hollises want to frame her for Peyton’s murder. 

And now Nikki’s only chance at escaping the cold black bars of prison or the crimson grip of death is teaming up with the enigmatic Detective Martinez and relying on an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of clues...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

The Maze Runner has been on my TBR list since 2011.  I think I added it because of all of the hype, but I never really read what it was about.  The story is set in a dystopian society that consists of only young boys.  For two years the boys have been living in the Glade, which is an open area surrounded by the maze walls, while trying to discover a way out of the maze.  Each month the creators send a new boy to live with them along with weekly shipments of supplies.  Their memories are erased prior to their arrival at the Glade, so they can't remember specifics about their past.  For example, they know what a movie is, but they can't think of a specific one.  They know they had parents, but they can't remember their names or what they looked like.  

Shortly after Thomas's arrives at the Glade it becomes clear to just about everyone that there is something different about him.  While most "greenies" are scared to death and cry for weeks, he feels a connection with the place.  It is almost as if he has been here before.  To top things off, the Creators send a girl (Teresa) the following day with a note saying that she will be their final new member and that things are going to change.  While Thomas can't remember who she is or how he knows her, she looks familiar.  

The comfortable lifestyle the boys had established over the past two year quickly turns to chaos.  Their supplies are cut off and the walls that closed every night like clockwork to protect them from the monsters that live in the maze suddenly stop closing.  One of them will die every night until they solve the maze.  

Overall, I thought this was an excellent start to the series.  The boys have their own language of sorts, which took a little getting used to, but I found it humorous the more I read.  They were very intelligent and resourceful and you couldn't help but root for them.  There is quite a bit of action and violence towards the end and I quickly realized there wasn't going to be a happily ever after sort of ending.  This is only the beginning of what appears to be a series of tests and only the best of the best will survive.

I have a few other books that I need to read for Book Nerds read alongs, but I am anxious to read The Scorch Trials.  Hopefully I will be able to get to it next month.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

Review: The Crown by Kiera Cass

The Crown (The Selection, #5)

The Crown is the fifth and final book in the Selection series.  If you aren't familiar with the series, just think of a season of The Bachelorette with the winner marrying the future queen. The field is down to the elite and Eadlyn isn't any closer to finding true love.  I don't think she even knows what she is looking for.

I felt like Kile and Hale were the obvious front runners and I was rooting for Kile most of the book.  I was happy to see Eadlyn progress from the spoiled snob she was in The Heir to an approachable leader who actually cares about her people.  She was very compassionate and understanding in a few situations while interacting with the Elite, which was a huge step in the right direction.  I felt like she made lasting friendships, which she never would have been capable of doing prior to the selection.  

I was happy to see that Maxon, Eadlyn's father, had a larger presence in this book.  I loved his character in the original 3 book series and was disappointed when he had such a limited role in The Heir.  There is a wonderful scene at the end of the book between Eadlyn and Maxon that any fan of this series will love.  

Overall, this was an excellent conclusion to the series.  Eadlyn made the right choice for herself and did not allow public opinion to sway her decision.  She never thought it would be possible, but she finds a connection with someone that may rival the love her parents found during the last selection.  This fairy tale really did have a happily ever after and I was satisfied with how the series ended.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Avalanche by Melinda Braun

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Avalanche by Melinda Braun
Release Date: November 29, 2016

I noticed this book last week on someone's WoW post and thought it sounded interesting.  

AvalancheGoodreads Overview: 

Two groups of teens—those waiting to be saved and those doing the saving—are in a race against time and a battle against Mother Nature after an avalanche traps them in an isolated cabin in this chilling novel.

“I promise it’ll be a weekend you’ll never forget.”

A trip like that is exactly what Matt was hoping for—a fun adventure. A daring escape. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go cross country skiing in a thrilling but dangerous pass through the Rocky Mountains. The perfect way for Matt to forget about his disappointing father and maybe let loose a little with his best friend and a group of carefree adrenaline junkies.

But then their guide takes them off-path…and straight into an avalanche. By the time they make it safely into an abandoned cabin, one skier is dead and another severely injured. Trapped with no heat, no water, and no radio the group decides to wait it out. Help will come. It has to.

Until it doesn’t. And Matt knows if they wait any longer they’ll be dead—just another bunch of victims in Mother Nature’s twisted games. Armed with only a handful of supplies and his fierce determination Matt decides to goes head-to-head with the elements, battling hypothermia, frostbite, and even mountain lions in order to find help and save them all. That is if Mother Nature doesn’t kill him first.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

Beautiful Disaster has been on my TBR list for a long time and I needed an NA book for a challenge, so I decided it was time to give it a try.

Abby Abernathy heads off to college with her best friend America.  Her hope is to start over and leave her past behind her.  Shortly after her arrival she meets Travis Maddox.  He certainly isn't the type of boy Abby ever would have seen herself with, but there is a connection between the two that is undeniable.  Every time she tries to distance herself from Travis she makes them both miserable.  

Travis is known on campus for his one-night stands and complete lack of respect for women.  He has a shaved head, tattoos, and is putting himself through college by participating in underground fighting.  When he meets Abby he wants to be the type of person she deserves, but he makes a lot of mistakes along the way.

Overall I thought this book was okay.  Travis isn't the most lovable character and I had a hard time relating to many of the events that took place in this book.  His language and aggressive behavior was offensive at times and seemed completely out of line given the circumstances.  I've read a number of reviews and it seems like people either loved or hated this book.  I wouldn't recommend this book to others, but I can't say that I hated it either.  It has an interesting story line, but it isn't the type of book I typically read. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Review: Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Last Seen Leaving

I received an ARC of Last Seen Leaving at the Fierce Reads blogger event at BEA and had an opportunity to meet the author.  He was absolutely hilarious, so I decided this would be one of the first books I read from BEA.

Flynn is a high school sophomore whose ex-girlfriend, January, is reported missing.  The breakup was a relatively recent turn of events, so he becomes a prime suspect.  In an effort to discover the truth, and clear his name, he uncovers a number of discrepancies.  January had been lying to him and just about everyone he "interviews" about her disappearance.

We don't have the opportunity to meet January before her disappearance, but there are several flashbacks to Flynn's encounters and conversations with her.  Her mother recently married a wealthy politician and her life was turned upside down.  She was forced to transfer to a private school, her home life was a disaster, and she was distancing herself from all of her friends.  She was under a considerable amount of pressure from her step-father and his campaign manager, but all of these factors combined don't seem like enough to make her run away.  

In addition to the mystery, the book focuses on Flynn coming to terms with who he is as an individual.  I loved his personality and sense of humor from the beginning, but admitting the truth allowed him the chance to finally be himself.  He was essentially forced to come out and wasn't prepared, but I felt like Roehrig did an excellent job of portraying Flynn's feelings and experiences in a very realistic manner.  Everything wasn't champagne and roses and I certainly wouldn't expect it to be. 

There were several twists that I did not see coming, including the ending.  I felt like the story wrapped up nicely, but there is still the possibility for a second book in the series. 

I gave this book 5 stars and will definitely add whatever Caleb releases next to my TBR list.  This book was very well written and is highly entertaining.