Sunday, July 23, 2017

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
I love LGBTQ+ books, especially coming out stories. It's one of my favorite things to read about. I had heard a lot of good things about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, so I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did. I loved the book. My only regret is that I didn't read it sooner. 

I had owned Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda for about a year, and hadn't picked it up. It just never caught my interest. Now I regret that. I wish I had read it sooner. It was the perfect coming out story. It captured all of the emotions that go along with that; fear, nervousness, anxiousness, and finally this huge feeling of relief. The book made me laugh, cry, and everything in between. Becky Albertalli wrote the character of Simon in a way that made him very relatable. I felt myself being able to identify with him, and his struggle, throughout the book. 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is definitely in my top five books I've read in 2017 so far. Heck, it might even be one of my favorite books of all time. Becky Albertalli just has this way of writing that pulls you into the book from the very beginning. I can't wait to read her other book, The Upside of Unrequited. I recommend this book to young adult, and adult readers alike who want a feel good, coming of age story.


I give Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://www.beckyalbertalli.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/beckyalbertalli
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7579036.Becky_Albertalli

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

House of Secrets: Clash of the Worlds by Chris Columbus, Ned Vizzini, and Chris Rylander


Synopsis:
The third and final book in the epic HOUSE OF SECRETS series. Get ready for another roller coaster ride of an adventure!

Just when the Walker kids thought life would finally go back to normal, they realize their adventures are far from over. They’ll encounter dinosaurs, aliens, killer robots, and the Wind Witch herself—with new friends and old—and be faced with some of the deadliest choices they’ll ever have to make. The scariest thing of all could be deciding who to trust, since everyone is hiding something...

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
This year, I have a goal of trying to complete most of the series I've started, and never finished throughout the years. Due to that, I decided to finally finish the House of Secrets trilogy. I picked up the final book, Clash of the Worlds, and thought it was a great ending to the trilogy. 

At first, Clash of the Worlds got off to a slow start. The first fifty pages or so were incredibly boring. I found myself wanting to put the book down, and struggling to get through it. I'm glad I didn't put it down though because after that, the book's plot picked up, and became the fast paced whirlwind that I've come to know and love from Christopher Columbus, and Ned Vizzini. There were several times, especially towards the end, where I found myself biting my nails, wondering how the kids were going to get through the mess they found themselves in. There were also times where I felt like the authors were tearing apart my heartstrings, putting them back together again, only to rip them out again later in the book. 

I loved all of the characters in Clash of the Worlds. I was happy that some of my favorite characters returned, even if it was only briefly. I wasn't expecting a couple of them to show up at all in the book, so it was a pleasant surprise when they did. I was also impressed with the character growth in this book. Looking from the first book to this last one, the characters have matured so much that the reader would think they are entirely different characters. My favorite character will always be Fat Jagger. I loved that we got to see so much of him in this book, and that he played a pivitol role. 

Even though I didn't like the first book in this trilogy, House of Secrets has become one of my favorite series. I thought that the ending of the trilogy was really good. I hope that Chris Columbus eventually turns this trilogy into a movie, or tv show because he is a wonderful director, and I would love to see his vision for his own book. I recommend Clash of the Worlds to kids and adults that are looking for a fast paced thrill ride.


I give House of Secrets: Clash of the Worlds: 4/5.

Want to know where to buy this book?
Amazon
Book Depository
Better World Books

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


Synopsis:
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.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Typically, I don't read a lot of books as soon as they are released that have hype surrounding them. However, everywhere I've looked on social media lately, I've been seeing The Hate U Give. It's impossible not to see a post about it while scrolling through my various social media feeds. I couldn't escape it, so I decided to just give into the pressure and read it. It was one of the best bookish decisions I've made recently. It was worth all of the hype surrounding it, and then some. 

The Hate U Give is such an important book. I think it should be on reading lists at schools throughout the country. It puts the into Starr's shoes, and gives a perspective that some people don't get in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement. It forces the reader to see the world in a completely new way. 

After reading The Hate U Give, I was completely outraged at the way minority groups are treated. I couldn't believe how much I didn't previously know about police brutality. I wanted to take a stand, and say enough is enough. I wanted to call my senators, and tell them to take a stand against police brutality. I wanted to protest the unfair treatment of people of color by police officers. Before reading The Hate U Give I knew police brutality happened, but I didn't think it affected me. Now I know better. It affects every member of the community, regardless of race. 

The Hate U Give was a powerful, moving book. Not only did it mess with my emotions, but it taught me so much that I never knew before. I wish that I could convince everyone to read it, and get a copy of the book in everyone's hands. It's worth all of the hype it's been getting, and more. Maybe if more people were willing to read this, and see from a perspective that they don't usually get, the world would be a better place.


I give The Hate U Give: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://angiethomas.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ACThomasAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/acthomasbooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/acwrites/
Tumblr: http://writerzambitionz.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15049422.Angie_Thomas

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston


Synopsis:
Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
The Valiant has been getting a lot of buzz lately. When I saw one of my favorite Booktubers, Peruse Project, review it and saw how much she loved it, I knew I had to read the book. She and I typically have similar tastes in books, and this was no exception. I loved the book. 

At first when I started The Valiant, I wasn't sure what to think of it. The first few pages weren't catching my interest at all. However, after the suction scene, I was all in. I love books set in ancient Rome. The way Lesley Livingstone wrote the book makes the reader feel like they were in ancient Rome beside Fallon, the main character, training to be a female gladiator. I loved how descriptive and detailed the world building was. The author did a great job bringing the world to life.

The main character, Fallon, was so badass. She was a kickass warrior, but that's not the only reason for her badassness. When she first came to the gladiator training school, she faced a lot of adversity. She was bullied constantly, but she never let that get her down. In fact, in a way, she used it to push herself to become stronger.

The Valiant was the first Lesley Livingston book I've read, but it won't be the last. I plan on reading her Wondrous Strange trilogy next, a trilogy about faeries. I loved The Valiant. I think with the way it ended, it could be read as a standalone. However, I'm going to read the rest of the trilogy because I'm so excited to get more of these characters.


I give The Valiant: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.lesleylivingston.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LesleyLivingstonAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LesLivingston
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1312879.Lesley_Livingston

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Iron Tiara by Beth Flynn Release Day Blitz




BLURB


Anthony Bear and Christy Chapman are from two completely different worlds.Anthony's the leader of a motorcycle gang that terrorizes Florida’s West Coast. As a child, he ran away from his family and the Cherokee Indian Reservation to enter a life of crime. As an adult, he leads a multifaceted life managing his two businesses—his legitimate landscaping venture, and his loan shark and underworld dealings. Driven by anger and betrayal, Anthony begins the hunt for Christy’s father, Van Chapman, after he runs out on a loan.

Christy’s privileged life is not as it seems. She has kept painful family secrets and hidden some of her own. She’s determined to find out the truth and expose Van, but her search delivers her right into Anthony Bear’s hands, adding kidnapping to his list of crimes.

Their worlds are as contrasting as the color of their skin. The only thing they seem to have in common is their mutual disdain for Van Chapman…and each other.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

The Iron Tiara is a spin-off novel from The Minutes Trilogy. It can be read as a standalone, and does not contain a cliffhanger.

Add to your TBR - http://bit.ly/2qBYYwf

PURCHASE TODAY

➜ US Amazon: http://amzn.to/2udRULb
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➜ AU Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tSd7dA

➜Nook: http://bit.ly/2ueDXNj
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ABOUT BETH FLYNN


Beth Flynn is a fiction writer who lives and works in Sapphire, North Carolina, deep within the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Beth and her husband, Jim, have spent the last 19 years in Sapphire, where they own a construction company. They have been married 33 years and have two daughters and a temperamental pit bull named Lady , Beth enjoys writing, reading, gardening, church and motorcycles, especially taking rides on the back of her husband’s Harley. She is a seven-year breast cancer survivor.


STALK BETH FLYNN

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/authorbethflynn

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Website - https://www.authorbethflynn.com/about-beth

Amazon - http://amzn.to/2unJCkG


Monday, July 17, 2017

Looking For Group by Rory Harrison


Synopsis:
Dylan doesn’t have a lot of experience with comfort. His room in the falling-down Village Estates can generously be categorized as “squalid,” and he sure as hell isn’t getting any love from his mother, who seemed to—no, definitely did—enjoy the perks that went along with being the parent of a “cancer kid.”

Now that Dylan’s suddenly in remission, all he’s left with is a lingering OxyContin addiction and a hunger for something—anything—but the life he’s known.

His only escape has been in the form of his favorite video game—World of Warcraft—and the one true friend who makes him feel understood, even if it’s just online. Dylan met Arden playing Warcraft, and now he wants to take her on a real mission, one he never thought he’d live to set out on: a journey to a mysterious ship in the middle of the Salton Sea.

But Arden is fighting her own battles, ones that Dylan can’t always help her win. As they navigate their way west, they grapple with Arden’s father (who refuses to recognize his daughter’s true gender), Dylan’s addiction, and the messy, complicated romance fighting so hard to blossom through the cracks of their battle-hardened hearts.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
I have to admit, I don't ever read the synopses for any of the books I read. I like going into books without knowing anything about them. That way, I can't get spoiled for the plot. Due to that, I thought this book was something completely different when I requested it. There's a web-comic called Looking For Group, and I thought this book was a novelization of that. It wasn't. The two have nothing to do with each other. That being said, once I started to read the book, and got over my initial disappointment about it not being what I thought it was, I did find it enjoyable. 

Typically, I'm not a big fan of the road road trip sub genre in young adult books. I find them silly, nonsensical, and unrealistic. For a book about a road trip, Looking For Group wasn't too bad. There were parts (mostly when they were going through the Midwest) where I was so bored that it was hard to concentrate. I had to force myself to push through it. Otherwise, I enjoyed the road trip, which is unusual for me.

I did love the LGBTQ+ representation in Looking For Group. I thought that Rory Harrison did a great job of writing a transgender character. She also did a great job of explaining what it means to be transgender, for those that might not know much about it. I learned a lot about transgender people from this book. I think that others will too. 

Once I got past the boring parts of Looking For Group, I found myself really enjoying the book. I will probably read more of Rory Harrison's future books when they are released. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, geeky read with diverse representation. I also recommend this book to anyone who plays online mmos, like World or Warcraft, or League of Legends.


I give Looking for Group: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.roryharrison.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/r0ryharris0n

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit


Synopsis:
Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.

Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Typically I love LGBTQ+ books. I enjoy reading whatever I can about the subject. I recently read Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, and didn't like it at all. I thought it was a poor representation of the LGBTQ+ community. It also sends a bad message to LGBTQ+ teenagers that read it, which is the book's intended audience. 

At first, I did enjoy the book. The first couple of chapters were really good. Then the plot took a turn that I didn't like. I was not happy at all with the main character's compliance with the rules that her father set for her. It felt like the book was sending the message that you shouldn't be who you are, or tick to your values if it makes someone else uncomfortable. I thought that was a dangerous message to send to teens, most of whom are just starting to explore their own sexuality, and discover who they really are. Not cool. You should never have to hide who you really are, especially just to make someone else happy. 

Needless to say, I didn't like Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit at all. I thought it was a terrible representation of the LGBTQ+ community. I don't think that I will be reading any of this author's other books in the future. I do not recommend this book to anyone.


I give Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit: 1/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.jayerobinbrown.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jayerobinbrown/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jayerobinbrown
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/CarolinaJaye/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6577839.Jaye_Robin_Brown

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan


Synopsis:
Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? In this valentine to readers, librarians, and book-lovers the world over, the New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Meg Donohue, Sophie Kinsella, and Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop.

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling. 

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Every once in a while I like to take a break from the usual genres I read, and read something different. I don't usually read chick-lit. In fact, I think it's been about ten years since I've read a book in that genre. Recently, I've been wanting to read books about books. Fiction or non-fiction, it doesn't matter. Therefore, I thought that The Bookshop on the Corner sounded like it was right up my alley. It ended up being a cute, fun read. 

Even though The Bookshop on the Corner wasn't my usual genre, I really did enjoy it. It seemed like the author was bookish, and the reader could tell from the way that she wrote the main character, Nina. I found that Nina was a very identifiable main character. The author portrayed her in a way that I could see parts of her in someone like myself, which I loved. It made me believe that I can follow my dreams as well. 

There were a few things that I didn't like about the book. At times, the book was so cliche that I found myself rolling my eyes. It was also very predictable. I predicted what was going on with Marek a few short pages after meeting him. There were also a few minor plot points that I predicted. Also, the person that Nina ended up with in the end felt forced. There was absolutely no chemistry there. It felt like it happened because the author felt like Nina needed to end up with someone to have a happy ending, so she just shoved them together.

Despite all of it's flaws, I did think that The Bookshop on the Corner was an enjoyable book. I would probably pick up another book by Jenny Colgan the next time I was in the mood for this genre. I recommend this book to anyone that is in the mood for a quick, sappy read, and doesn't mind some cliche moments.

I give The Bookshop on the Corner: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Island of Tory by Regina M. Geither


Synopsis:
When sixteen year old Arella Cline's summer vacation begins with the tragic death of her parents, she is sent to live with her aunt to begin a new life on a remote island off the western coast of Ireland. But there are strange things happening on Tory Island- shadow figures, mysterious auras, and the haunting sound of her deceased parents' voices. The only thing Arella finds appealing about Tory is the handsome, dark-haired Declan McQuillan. But Cannon Fidelous, a mysterious outcast, warns her that the island and its inhabitants are hiding a dark secret. And when Arella finds an ancient book of prophecies, she discovers the island's curse-a curse that only she can undo.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
I am absolutely fascinated by Irish, and Scottish folklore, whether it's fiction or non-fiction. If someone tells me about a book of folklore from that area, I'll definitely want to read it. Therefore, I was so excited when the author of Island of Tory, Regina M. Geither, approved my request to read and review it. I found the book to be enjoyable, even though it wasn't one of my favorites I've read this year. 

I found the premise of Island of Tory to be fascinating. It was unlike anything I've ever read before. Even after finishing the book, I still felt the same way about the premise. The folklore was so in depth. Even if the story line was obviously fantasy, it was still awesome to see the monuments of Tory while reading the book, and to watch the setting come to life in my head. I was so excited when I found out that the Island of Tory actually is a real place. The book made me want to go there, and see all the locations in real life that are mentioned in the book. It was exciting to learn that one day I might actually be able to go to somewhere I read about in a fantasy book.

All that being said, I did have a couple of problems with Island of Tory. The pacing was slow. It felt almost like the plot was crawling along at a snail's pace at times. I got bored several times while reading. Every couple of chapters, it seemed like there was nothing going on, other than filler. It took me almost two weeks to read the book, which is ridiculous for a book that is less than two hundred pages. Also, the dialogue was hard to understand at times. The author writes the characters with Irish accents, which makes the reader feel like they are on the island with the characters. However, if the reader isn't used to the dialect, it makes the characters hard to understand sometimes. Several times, I had to stare at a sentence and try to figure out what the heck the character was saying, based on context. It left me feeling really confused, like I was being left out on something very important, and disengaged from the story line.

Other than those few things, I really did enjoy Island of Tory. The book is part of a trilogy, but it is in my opinion that it can be read as a stand alone. I'm going to continue with trilogy because I am excited to see where Regina M. Geither takes the world of Tory next. I recommend this book to anyone who loves folklore.


I give Island of Tory: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://reginamgeither.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Island-of-Tory-by-Regina-M-Geither-158924204171998/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/reginamgeither
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5874354.Regina_M_Geither

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Dragon King Chronicles trilogy by Ellen Oh


Synopsis for Prophecy:
The greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms... is a girl with yellow eyes.

Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope...

Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.

Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).


Synopsis for Warrior:
First an outcast, now a hero.

But her fight rages on.

Kira, the yellow-eyed demon slayer who fiercely protected her kingdom—and the crown prince—has been proclaimed the Dragon Musado of the prophecy. With the defeated the evil shaman.

But it wasn’t enough. 

Hansong is in chaos. The Demon Lord’s minions have infiltrated the city, treason is brewing among the military ranks, and Kira is buried by the overwhelming loss of her parents. She’s also plagued by the annoying feelings that blossom whenever she’s around Jaewon. But she is determined that nothing will stop her from finding the second treasure needed to fulfill the Dragon King’s prophecy. Not even the army of half-breed demons hot on their trail. If only she could learn to trust others…

Her father always said one person can change the world. Will it be Kira?

(Synopsis from Goodreads).


Synopsis for King:
Girl warrior, demon slayer, Tiger spirit of the Yellow Eyes—Kira is ready for her final quest. In this thrilling finale to the Prophecy trilogy, fans will get even more of the fierce Kira and her quest to save her kingdom!

All eyes are on her. Kira, once an outcast in her home village of Hansong, is now the only one with the power to save her kingdom. She must save her cousin, the boy fated to be the future king, uncover the third lost treasure, and face innumerable enemies in order to fulfill the famed prophecy.

Kira braves a sea of tigers and battles armies of demons as she musters her inner strength and learns to trust herself, the romantic feelings for Jaewon that are growing within her, and the destiny that must be hers.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
I've been hearing great things about Ellen Oh's books for years now. I've been wanting to read one for a long time. However, I wanted to wait until the hype died down so I could form my own opinion, and not be influenced by those around me. Recently, I had decided that enough time had passed, so I decided to read her Dragon King Chronicles, which consists of Prophecy, Warrior, and King. While I'm not sure it was worth all of the hype surrounding it, I did find it enjoyable. 

I did enjoy The Dragon King Chronicles. I read the whole trilogy within a few days time. I found myself flying through the books. However, it just didn't hold the magic for me that it held for others. I never found myself thinking that it was the best trilogy to come out in recent years, or anything like that. 

The first book in the trilogy, Prophecy, was really good. It was fast paced, exciting, and had me wanting more at the end. The second book, Warrior, suffered from a classic case of second book syndrome. It was still exciting, but there were several times where I was bored, and thought the story line was dragging. By the third book, King, the story line was most definitely dragging out. It felt like most of the book was filler, just to get to the final battle. There were a few plot points that I did enjoy in King, such as how things were settled. For the most part, I just wanted to fast forward to the final battle. Then the final battle was kind of disappointing. While parts of it were awesome, I was expecting so much more. 

Even though I wasn't thrilled with The Dragon King Chronicles as a whole, I did have fun reading it. I'm looking forward to reading Ellen Oh's other books, to see how her writing has matured, because this was her first series. I recommend this trilogy to teens who are looking for a fantasy read with a diverse cast of characters. Just don't go into it believing all of the hype.


I give The Dragon King Chronicles trilogy: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.ellenoh.com/index2.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellen.c.oh
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElloEllenOh
Tumblr: http://elloellenoh.tumblr.com/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/elloecho/

I received this trilogy from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

My Life With Bob by Pamela Paul


Synopsis:
Imagine keeping a record of every book you’ve ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life.

Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight years – carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, safely packed away and then carefully removed from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk – reliable if frayed, anonymous-looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob.

Bob is Paul’s Book of Books, a journal that records every book she’s ever read, from Sweet Valley High to Anna Karenina, from Catch-22 to Swimming to Cambodia, a journey in reading that reflects her inner life – her fantasies and hopes, her mistakes and missteps, her dreams and her ideas, both half-baked and wholehearted. Her life, in turn, influences the books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, information or sheer entertainment.

But My Life with Bob isn’t really about those books. It’s about the deep and powerful relationship between book and reader. It’s about the way books provide each of us the perspective, courage, companionship, and imperfect self-knowledge to forge our own path. It’s about why we read what we read and how those choices make us who we are. It’s about how we make our own stories.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
I've been on a binge reading spree lately, where I only want to read book about books, and books about reading. I read the synopsis for My Life With Bob, and thought it sounded amazing. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on a copy. The book went above and beyond my expectations. I loved it. I wish that there were more books like it. 

My Life With Bob was about being a book lover, but at the same time, it was about so much more than that. It was a fun ride through Pamela Paul's adventures as well, and what she learned along the way. It was a memoir of self discovery, learning how to love yourself, and learning how to cope with difficult problems. I loved every second of it. I also loved hearing about the books that the author read. So many books were added to my tbr pile. I loved seeing the author react to what she was reading, and her fond (or in some cases, not so fond) memories of the books that she read. 

I loved My Life With Bob. It had just the right mixture of being about reading, with some adventure thrown in. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to go back to page one, and start all over again, which is unusual for me. I rarely re-read books, but I can definitely see myself re-reading this one. I hope Pamela Paul writes another book about books, maybe once she gets a few more pages written in Bob. I hope to find more books like this in the same genre. I recommend this book to bibliophiles everywhere.


I give My Life With Bob: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.pamelapaul.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PamelaPaulNYT/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PamelaPaulNYT
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/152327.Pamela_Paul

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life by Andy Miller


Synopsis:
A working father whose life no longer feels like his own discovers the transforming powers of great (and downright terrible) literature in this laugh-out-loud memoir.

Andy Miller had a job he quite liked, a family he loved, and no time at all for reading. Or so he kept telling himself. But, no matter how busy or tired he was, something kept niggling at him. Books. Books he'd always wanted to read. Books he'd said he'd read that he actually hadn't. Books that whispered the promise of escape from the daily grind. And so, with the turn of a page, Andy began a year of reading that was to transform his life completely.

This book is Andy's inspirational and very funny account of his expedition through literature: classic, cult, and everything in between. Beginning with a copy of Bulgakov's Master and Margarita that he happens to find one day in a bookstore, he embarks on a literary odyssey. From Middlemarch to Anna Karenina to A Confederacy of Dunces, this is a heartfelt, humorous, and honest examination of what it means to be a reader, and a witty and insightful journey of discovery and soul-searching that celebrates the abiding miracle of the book and the power of reading.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
I love reading books about books. It's all I've been wanting to read lately. I had heard a lot of great things about The Year of Reading Dangerously, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, I didn't like it at all. After taking three days to get that far (which is almost unheard of for me), I ended up DNF'ing the book at seventeen percent. 

The Year of Reading Dangerously was one of those books about books where the reader has to have read the same books that the author has read to understand what he is talking about. Unfortunately, I hadn't read any of them. Therefore, to me the book was extremely slow paced. I was so bored most of the time. Finally, after reading for three days and getting nowhere, I decided to give up. I wasn't getting anything out of the book, so I didn't see the point in finishing it.

I also didn't like the tone that the author used. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it. He had an aggressive, rough tone that made me feel disconnected from what he was saying. It made it obvious that even though he was trying to be a bookworm, he was unlike me, which made him hard to identify with while I was reading. 

Unfortunately, The Year of Reading Dangerously wasn't for me. I found myself bored, and put off by the tone that the author used to write the book. Based on my experience, I don't recommend this book to anyone, unless you've read all the same books that the author talks about.


I give The Year of Reading Dangerously: 1/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://mill-i-am.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/i_am_mill_i_am

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sophie's Secret by Tara West


Synopsis:
After shedding 30 pounds of baby fat, Sophie Sinora has grown into a pretty, but insecure, teen in bloom. To make her life more complicated, Sophie can sometimes read minds. 

Sophie's BFFs, AJ and Krysta, are also 'gifted' with paranormal abilities. Keeping their gifts secret proves difficult, as their powers are strengthening, making them feel more and more like freaks. 

When Sophie falls for Jacob, she hopes he'll ask her out to the Freshman Formal. But when she's forced to cheat and lie for him, she wonders how far she'll have to go to make him like her. Add to her growing list of problems - her teacher's suicidal thoughts, a locker bully who wants to kick her butt, the hot school flirt who won't stop teasing her, her pregnant sister who boots Sophie out of her room, and the growing tension between Sophie and her best friends. 

Sophie's got issues. Hopefully, she can fix them in time to save her teacher's life and her social life.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
I've had all of Tara West's books on my tbr for quite a long time. I've heard great things about them in different groups on Facebook. Therefore, I had high expectations for her book, Sophie's Secret. Unfortunately, I hated this book. It might be one of the most problematic books I've read, especially for the age group it's intended. 

I don't even know where to begin with how problematic Sophie's Secret was. The book had a lot of slut-shaming. It also had discrimination towards LGBTQ+ people, in the form of rudeness and purposeful improper use of a character's pronouns. The main character, Sophie, and her two best friends, Aj, and Krysta are terrible role models for middle grade and young adult readers. They were vain, disrespectful, and constantly made rude comments about those around them, and each other, and stabbed each other in the back for most of the book.

Possibly the most problematic thing in the book is the relationship between Sophie, and her crush, Jacob. He was very mentally and emotionally abusive towards her. He treated her like crap, and used her just to get what he wanted. He had wild mood swings, and was constantly lashing out at her. When he did this, she blamed herself, and thought that she did something wrong. This is a classic symptom of an abusive relationship. The book did absolutely nothing to teach that Jacob's actions were wrong, or a sign of abuse. 

Sophie's Secret was one of the most problematic books I've read in recent years. It was almost as bad as The Ruling Class by Francine Pascal, and if you've been following my Goodreads for a while, you know how I felt about that book. I definitely will not be finishing this series. I'm not even sure I want to read Tara West's other books now. There's a chance I might give the first book in her new adult series, Say When, a try just to see if it's problematic too. At this point if it's not already obvious, I don't recommend this book to anyone. In fact, I recommend you steer clear of it.


I give Sophie's Secret: 1/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.tarawest.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tarawestauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaraWestauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1731936.Tara_West

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Lazarus by Lori Titus


Synopsis:

In 1869, a young widow named Luella Pembry arrives in the town of Lazarus, California.


She is aware of Lazarus' secret; it's a site of infrequent Risings of the dead. But lately, the phenomenon is happening more often.



When Luella approaches Sheriff Drake and Mayor Cole to offer her aid, both men are skeptical.
How can this stranger stop the Risings? It soon becomes clear that there are other secrets in this town. What is the force behind the reanimation of the dead? And where does the untimely death of a young woman fit into the equation?



Luella and Drake race to unravel the mystery to save the town, and their own lives.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
I love zombie novels. I also love historical fiction. Combine a zombie novel with a historical western setting, and I am all for it. That's exactly what the reader gets when reading Lazarus. I've been Facebook friends with Lori Titus for a while, and really wanted to read one of her books. I chose Lazarus. I'm so glad I did. It might be one of my favorite zombie novels that I've ever read.

Lazarus has a strong zombie element in the plot. However, it's not just a zombie book. There's also a paranormal experience, which was a pleasent surprise. I've rarely ever read the two paranormal types in the same book, and really enjoyed it. I thought it brought something new to the genre, and kept it interesting. Lori Titus pulls off the combination with her phenomenal writing style. It didn't feel like there was too much going on at all, like it usually does when I've seen other authors attempt it.

Typically, I hate instalove in a book. It's one of my biggest pet peeves. There is some instalove in Lazarus between two characters. At first, it annoyed me at the beginning. However, the further I got into the book, I realized Lori Titus wrote in a way that it works really well. Not only did it seem necessary to the plot, but it seemed natural. It wasn't the forced instalove that's in most books. She made me look at instalove in a completely new way.

Lazarus was one of the best horror books I've read this year. It made me see several aspects of the horror genre in a new light. I look forward to making my way through Lori Titus's back log of books that she's previously released. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a short, yet captivating, horror read.

I give Lazarus: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.