Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: September 30th, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: 9/25/14 to 9/29/14
304 Pages

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.”

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Thank you Edelweiss for letting me read Lies We Tell Ourselves, because all I can say is that it was 100% awesome.

I actually have had this digital copy for about 3 months now, and I only picked it up a couple days ago just because I am a procrastinator. BUT I MADE IT. Lies We Tell Ourselves is out today! And I will make you buy a copy! Just kidding.

No but seriously, I haven't read such a good historical fiction since my elementary school days. And do you know what's amazing about this one? It has LGBT. Yeah that's right.

Lies We Tell Ourselves introduces us to desegregation in the South, and boy is it rough. Sarah Dunbar has her life already all planned out. Graduate from Johns, and then go to university in Washington D.C.. But when desegregation finally passes, her family volunteers her and her sister to attend school at Jefferson, which used to be the all-white school.

It is brutal. The author definitely captures that aspect. Actually, this book made me really mad. PEOPLE ARE MEAN. I didn't like how the white people bullied and taunted the colored. Teachers would either turn away from what's happening, or ignore it on purpose. It was not fair, but this is how it was back in the day when the law first past. The author really opened my eyes to the whole situation, and even though I knew it was bad, it was made even worse where I grew attached to all the characters.

Though there wasn't much emphasis on the side characters, I loved Sarah Dunbar. Linda Hairston, not so much. Throughout the novel, Linda is conflicted about her feelings of desegregation, saying that she hates it and that the colored people ruined everything. Of course, she has been influenced by her idiotic father, who she loathes and tries to impress at the same time. In the end, I grew attached to her, because she overcame everything she was brought up on.

Also, both of them are adorable together gah. 

Even though Lies We Tell Ourselves tells a historical story, it's also a contemporary romance. And I really loved that part about it. The romance was slow, and more of it "Is this right? Why do I feel like this?" sort of thing. But it worked out perfectly in the end.

With that said, the ending resolved itself very quickly, I felt that the pacing at the end of the book was very different from the beginning. But still, the ending made me very giddy and happy, which is great because I was wondering how the author was going to end this novel.

Overall, Lies We Tell Ourselves was fantastic, brilliant, and completely fresh and original topic from what I have been reading recently. I loved it! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #11

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

So Pretty Little Liars was free on Amazon apparently, and I'm not sure I'll ever read this, because it's not my type of genre, but you never know! Thanks Paula for bringing this freebie to my attention though!

And then Slaughterhouse-Five was only $2 on Amazon as well, and it's been on my TBR forever. I'm not even sure what it's about, but I've always wanted to try Kurt Vonnegut! Thanks Paula! (again)

Guys, guys I got a library card finally!

Though I only borrowed one book, simply because the number of ARCs and my own books I want to read is a lot. And plus I have college work to do. Boo

But I get to finally read Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. That should be exciting!

My life has gone back to normal, so that's a relief.

Actually, I had a very good week starting from Wednesday on, and the weather right now is gorgeous, which is very hard to believe seeing that it is almost October (Winter is coming...)

Though I have been very, very busy the past couple days. My schedule is literally, go to class, work at the Baby Lab, go to another class, work at the Baby Lab. Go home at 5pm (or 7pm on Mondays), lay in my bed like a lump, start homework, study, WATCH PSYCH, attempt to read, pass out.

But working at the Baby Lab is the best job ever! I work as a coder, which means I get to listen in on family conversations at home, and transcribe them on the computer. No, I'm not a spy, the infant baby has a microphone attached to him/her, and I record everything he/she hears. Like objects. SO YEAH. GO INFANT WORD LEARNING.

Also I see babies and toddlers coming in the lab on a regular basis :D

On another note, Dre @ Sporadic Reads is looking for a co-blogger! Here's the link if you're interested!

How was your week? Feel free to link up STSs! I'm so glad my life is back to normal haha.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #26

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

I was planning on skipping this week because I'VE BEEN BUSY (and I watched the Captain America: Winter Soldier movie instead of doing homework), but you know what? Screw sleep! Let me tell you about my planned reads for the season!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - This seriously needs to STOP BEING ON MY LISTS. Well, they will be. By October (this is bad because I keep on pushing the date further and further back)

Abhorsen by Garth Nix - It is actually super important that I get this right cover from The Book Depository. Yes, I am actually going out of my way to buy a cover from Australia to ship it to the US. I've already checked TBD, they have it, though not in stock because I don't think these covers are out yet. Even so, I am waiting. (I am a little obsessed, if you can't tell)

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley - I'm actually reading this one next! Because it's being published in a week, and I've had this e-ARC for months! I'm actually super excited to read this :D

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - Wow. This is also on every list too. And I keep on pushing back when I want to read this. SHAME ON ME.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson - This is the next read in the Sanderson Cosmere Readalong! And apparently, Sanderson has this one up on his website to read for free, but I'm just going to buy a physical copy (when my money comes back to me) later this week. Because look at that beautiful cover!

Red Rising by Pierce Brown - Got this freebie from Netgalley due to the sequel coming out soon! Going to definitely read it in the next coming months or so!

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut - This was on Amazon for only $2! So I decided to snatch it up (Thanks Paula!) because I've been interested in it ever since reading The Universe Versus Alex Woods. 

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo - I think it's finally time to read this one. I mean, I have it on my shelf

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater - This is also going to be my next buy, and it's going straight into my Amazon cart. I actually requested Blue Lily, Lily Blue for the heck of it on NG, but I have a feeling nothing will happen HAHAH.

The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons - I'm not sure if I'll get to this, but this has been in my TBR for a long time, and everything about it looks awesome! 

OK time to go to bed!

goodnight guys :D

Monday, September 22, 2014

ARC Review: Raven Blog Tour + Giveaway

Raven by Stacey Rourke
The Legends Saga #2
Publisher: Anchor Group
Release Date: September 21st, 2014
Source: E-book
Date Read: 9/19/14 to 9/22/14
211 Pages
Rating: 1/2

An infamous love, destined nevermore,
For death could not claim, the enchanting Lenore.

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane ventures to Manhattan in search of a way to break her soul crushing bond. Instead, she discovers the lines between fact and fiction are blurring once more. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Could the works of Poe be coming to pass with handsome Wall Street Midas Ridley Peolte as their unwilling target?

She walks the Earth, a plague on mankind,
searching for he, her rotted heart doth pine.

Together, the two unknowingly release a dark force death itself could not tame. Surrounded by the unrelenting violence and mayhem they’ve unleashed, Ireland feels her control over the Horseman slipping. Before the beast within consumes her, she and her crew must follow the clues of the dead to right a centuries’ old wrong. Will it be enough to sate the Horseman’s appetite?

Hell hath no fury like a ghoul scorned.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Stacey Rourke lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction  and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. Mark your calendars! Her latest literary adventure, Crane, will release May 26, 2014. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this thrilling Legends Saga, as well as other literary projects.

So here's to another well done book by Stacey Rourke! I received an e-arc Raven from a Xpresso Reads blog tour, and it was in pdf form, and most likely not the published form. However, Raven, the sequel to Crane (which you can read about here) was actually published yesterday! The e-book is on Amazon, and also Smashwords, I believe?

Since this is a sequel, I'll just sum up the awesomeness of the first book in bullet-point form:

  • If you're looking for your first NA, LOOK HERE. This is a great read that focuses more on the plot rather than the romance
  • It has incredibly witty lines and dialogue that made me laugh out loud!
  • Hidden Easter eggs from other movies or books, which I actually haven't seen in many books (probably because I'm reading fantasy, oops)
  • It's about the headless horseman, aka The Hessian, taking over Ireland's body because of a curse. And it's something she HAS to control. You know, before she kills tons of people by accident.

Feel free to skim this if you haven't read the first book! Or read it, either way there are no spoilers!

Raven is the second book in this series, and although I did like the first book better, this one also had the same witty lines that I loved.

'Perhaps she got her anger under control?' Rip's lips worked like a cow chewing cud. His beard bobbing with each rotation of his jaw. "I watched a fascinating documentary about a scientist that was inadvertently struck with a substance known as 'gamma radiation.' The result of which turned him into a reptilian colored ogre with horrible coping mechanisms. Only be calming himself could he revert back to his true form. It is possible the same type of technique worked for her.'

'Not a documentary, bud,' Noah corrected.
(Taken from an unedited/unpublished, ARC e-copy)

The story moves forward from Ireland's curse, to another character, Ridley, who has to battle the curse of Edgar Allen Poe. Yeah that's right, the actual Edgar Allen Poe, except he can bring anything back to life through his touch. Though they aren't exactly human when brought back.

Instead of moving completely on to a new character, Rourke decides to bring all of them together, Ireland (still trying to figure out HER curse), her boyfriend Noah, Rip (the guy out of his time), and then Ridley. This is a good and bad thing. Well, the good is that I loved how there's the whole "Team Horseman" and "Team Poe" thing going on. But then, this makes everything a little bit confusing.

Well, a lot.

Characters were just popping in and out, and I had a hard time focusing on who was doing what, or saying what. Ridley was even worse to imagine, since he constantly was seeing dead people. My main problem, and what brings this down a star and a half, is that the POVs keep on shifting throughout the story inconsistently. 

As with the last book, the chapters rotate between the past, in this case, historic Edgar Allen Poe, and the present with Ireland and the gang. I found Edgar's past to be much more appealing, simply because I didn't have to deal with a bunch of characters. 

In conclusion, I still really like this series. I think it has great potential! And I'm still looking forward to the next book, which will come out.....hopefully sometime soon!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: The Way of Kings (Free On Amazon!)

Hello fellow bloggers!

I actually read The Way of Kings over the summer, as part of Faye's The Way of Kings Read-along. I'm not sure why I didn't review it then, but the reason I have finally decided to now is because The Way of Kings is free on Amazon Kindle.

There is seriously no excuse as to why you shouldn't get this. OH and it's also free on iTunes for those who don't have a Kindle.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
The Stormlight Archive #1
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Source: ebook
Date Read: 5/15/14 to 6/16/14
1007 Pages
Rating: 1/2

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soiless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

This was the best 1000 pages of my life. Literally. Brandon Sanderson is a god. His writing and storytelling is amazing, and the worlds are epic.

The Way of Kings was my first and only epic fantasy novel.

It will probably remain my favorite epic fantasy novel of all time. Except when you know, I read the sequel and I'm blown away, again. 

If you have never heard of Sanderson, then you are living under a rock (just kidding). This "little" project of his, aka the planning of the Stormlight Archives, took him 10 years. He's planning to have ten of these massive 1000 page books in the series. If I somehow die before him, or he dies before finishing, I will not be happy.

OK, let me actually try to convince you to read this. First off, this is a slow paced, detailed, fully fleshed out world with a huge emphasis on character development. The world Sanderson creates is gorgeous. He has literally thought of everything possible, from ranks of nobility to soul gems, to the structure of the language, and how the words are pronounced. High ranking women have bright eyes, and are constantly called "Your Brightness", which is just SO COOL. I want to be called "Your Brightness"! I don't even have blue eyes!

The characters. OH the characters. Each chapter is dedicated to the POV of one of the three main characters, Kaladin, Shallan, and Dalinar. They are the best characters ever I am so attached to all three of them. 

Kaladin can be described as our hero, but he's fallen pretty far down in both social rank and spirit. He's pretty much lost everything, and is now branded a slave. It's really horrible what he has to do though. Since the Way of Kings centers around war, Kaladin and his team are forced to carry bridges to allow the armies to cross chasms. Because of this, he is constantly in the line of fire on the battlefield. Everyone around him is dying, but still, he still somehow finds the courage and strength to overcome it all. And he's special.....dun dun dunnnnnn.

Shallan comes from a different background. She does come from a wealthy family, but due to her father's death, her family no longer has the means to soulcast new minerals for trade. Therefore, Shallan decides that she'll find a way around it, or you know, steal it from someone who has one. And of course it's someone who's well known. But even so, Shallan is still awesome. She has these amazing drawing abilities, and throughout the book, she questions whether or not she is doing the right thing.

AND LASTLY, there's Dalinar. I'm not as attached to him as I am to Shallan and Kaladin, but he's pretty cool too. He's one of the generals and an advisor to the King. Basically, he's a lord that controls part of the region, and all the other high princes fight for their wins too, and also fight for Shardblades, which to keep it simple, is EPIC INDESTRUCTIBLE ARMOR that makes you almost INVINCIBLE (I'm exaggerating, but you get it).

The characters in this story never actually meet each other, until the second book apparently. That's how slow paced this is. BUT, despite saying that, the pace is what makes this book so good.

In conclusion, please go download the book now. I don't care if it sits on your device for 10 years, you will not regret downloading this!   

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #10 (Also, The Worst Week Ever)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Thank you Algonquin Books for The Future for Curious People. Paula @ Her Book Thoughts mentioned how good it was, so I am willing to give it a try.

Then I have the blog tour for Raven on Tuesday. Thanks Giselle @ Xpresso Reads.

And got The Emperor's Soul on my kindle, which is turning out to be really awesome.
(On that note, The Way of Kings is free on Amazon. Please go get it, if it's still free)


This week has been horrible

I am so frustrated with everything. And I'm about to rant about it. Feel free to skip this sad note. Aha.

On Thursday, I got an email from Chase about fraud, in the middle of class. I literally rushed out of class because I found out $950 was taken from my bank account.

I got it all taken care of at Chase, but it will still take a couple of days for the money to be taken care of. I have $-3 to my name now.

And when I thought everything was going to be ok, my car stalled.

I had to get it towed back to my house, and tomorrow, I will be getting it towed to a mechanic to hopefully find out what is wrong, and not get ripped off.

So yeah.

That's it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Read Play Blog: Preferred Console

Read Play Blog is a meme about video games and books, posted every 16th of the month. Bloggers are encouraged to answer a discussion question, and recommend a video game that is similar to a book they liked. Hosted by Happy Indulgence Books & Read Me Away.

What is your preferred gaming platform? 

This is actually a really hard question, because I played a lot of different platforms over the year. I first started out my gaming experience on a Gameboy Advance SP, when I was an 11 year old. It was a great, but emotional time for me, because my mom would often get super pissed off whenever I was playing it, and would take it away from me for months at a time (we do not talk about this time). 

And then, I somehow convinced her to buy me a PS2, you know for exercise aka Dance Dance Revolution. I actually used to be an expert at that game, but since the franchise wasn't popularized for the PS3, I'm a little rusty. 

I even bought my own Nintendo DS! You know, for all those Ace Attorney games.

But if I had to pick between the four consoles I own, along with the PC, I would have to say that PS3 is the way to go. And here's why:
  • Tons and tons of games. I used to think the PS2 had a huge variety of games, but there are even more in this generation! They are still coming up with games now, even though the PS4 is already out (Like Destiny, which one day will be mine)
  • Advantages over the Xbox -- I don't have to pay for playing online (not that I really do), it can play blu-ray discs, and other things I can't think of at the moment.

  • The controller fits in my small hand perfectly ;D
Yeah, but that's pretty much it. I will forever stick to Playstation, and I will one day own the PS4, when the price drops to $300 (haha, ha, ha)

Currently Playing: Bioshock Infinite!

This Month's Recommendation: Bioshock, only because I just finished it and WOW. Like sure it is super duper creepy, but Rapture, the city under the sea, is so fascinating. Too bad everyone went mad on human modifications.

Anyways, the premise of the game centers around the time period of FDR, and how this man, Andrew Ryan, created this city under the sea in order to unleash man's potential without running into anything legal. 

But it is incredibly scary. In my opinion. I just went straight to Infinite rather than playing Bioshock 2 because I seriously need a break!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #25

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Authors I've Only Read One Book From & Need to Read More!

Do you know how never-ending this list is???? I always, always, ALWAYS, read one book per author, which honestly needs to stop because I have read so many great books. I just never follow up with more, because I like to start fresh. 

I will try to narrow it down to only 10 though. HA.

I'll put the author first, then a book I HAVE read by them, and one that I desperately want to read next.

Maggie Stiefvater - Author of The Raven Boys

I desperately need to read the next book after The Raven Boys, aka The Dream Thieves just because Blue Lily, Lily Blue is coming out soon and I must not fall behind! Another book by her I really also want to read is The Scorpio Races, because it just looks so epic!

A. G. Howard - Author of Splintered

I have YET TO READ Unhinged, I mean I did take it out of the library that one time, but had to return it simply because I was traveling back to school. If I do get a library card here (I'm such a wimp with adult social stuff), then I'll definitely request it! 

Marissa Meyer - Author of Cinder

I am currently reading Scarlet now, but I've only gotten through the first 70 pages! Anyways, I WANT MORE. I want to read everything Marissa Meyer has written, because let me tell ya, she does a fantastic job with her writing style, showing rather than telling. It is GREAT.

Markus Zusak - Author of The Book Thief

The Book Thief was one of my favorite reads of last year, AND IT WAS SO WELL DONE. I definitely want to read his other book, I Am The Messenger, just because I also heard it was really good. 

Haruki Murakami - Author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

I used to be obsessed with trying to read all of Haruki Murakami's books, but then I stopped after the first book I read by him. I'm not sure why, I mean it was good, but if I had to put this in a genre, it's definitely literature that has tons of deep meaning connected to it. But I do want to read Kafka on the Shore!

Leigh Bardugo - Author of Shadow and Bone 

I LOVED Shadow and Bone, but just haven't gotten to Siege and Storm yet for some unknown reason! But it is on my shelf, so I will get to finishing this trilogy soon!

Susanna Kearsley - Author of The Firebird

I did like The Firebird, I did. But I think I only gave it 3 stars just because. But I still want to read The Winter Sea, because Susanna Kearsley does write some good historical fiction, and I heard this other book by hers is amazing!

Lauren Oliver - Author of Delirium

I seriously need to read more of Lauren Oliver's books, because even though I did like Delirium, I'm not sure if I'll continue the series. But I do want to read Panic!

THIS SERIES. It's really good for a children's series, though I had to get used to the writing style for the first book. But it's very "fairy-tale" like in style, and I loved it tons! I need to read the sequel though, which is again another long title I don't feel like writing out!

Stacey Rourke - Author of Crane (The Legends Saga)

LOOK AT THIS NEW AND UPCOMING AUTHOR. This series seriously needs to be more popular because it's pretty good! I'll be reading Raven sometime this week for a blog tour next week!

Finally, I am done. Feel free to link up TTT's!

I finished this during stats class this morning, I feel like a badass :P

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