Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: An Ember In The Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Source: Physical
Date Read: 7/22/15 to 7/24/15
446 pages
Rating: 1/2

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Well what do you know? I actually ended up reading An Ember in the Ashes! I bought it right when it came out, and just now I have read and loved it. Of course, it isn't without its flaws, and it doesn't completely live up to my expectations. 

Is it instalove? I think yes.

Or at least insta-attraction, which I do understand, so I feel like a hypocrite for saying this. But let me back up, we have Laia, a slave girl who is actually working for the Resistance. And then we have Elias, who is kind of a sympathizer to the slaves and such. And just to everyone actually. He's not a heartless "mask" like everyone at Blackcliff, the military academy. 

Though really, their meeting is basically "eyes meeting, guy thinks girl is beautiful, girl looks away and is confused" and it transitions to "guy tries to help out girl because he can't stop thinking about her". To be honest, I feel like the book would've been better off without their attraction. 

Inspired by Ancient Rome? Uh eh.

For one, I could've sworn this was based off of Greek or Roman culture, but that's not really the case here. Actually, I couldn't help but notice a lot of similarities between this and Red Rising. For one, there's an oppressed group of people, the main character is a spy, the situation itself is bleak, but in the end everything pulls through.

Honestly, during some points in the novel I could not keep reading because the bleakness of the situation was really putting me off. The Commandment makes Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles seem like nothing. 

  But I was still intrigued!

The first half of the novel was boring compared to the action in the end, which involved darker forces besides slavery and the trials to become Emperor. Which is why I would read the next book for all my answers. 

I feel like after many months in anticipation, this definitely falls flat for me. I was expecting more worldbuilding, based on Ancient Rome, and even though there were ghouls and sand efrits, but I felt that came out of nowhere, and didn't really fit in with the setting. Also, rape is mentioned a couple of times, and I know some readers have been put off by that as well.

In conclusion, I liked An Ember in the Ashes. I think readers who loved Red Rising would definitely enjoy this, because it's along the same lines plot-wise.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #65

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Five Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

Another graphic for you guys! This time featuring five awesome characters that are book nerds! There definitely need to be more characters that love to read and write!

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: Shatter Me

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Source: Physical
Date Read: 7/20/15 to 7/20/15
340 pages

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Before everyone who loved Shatter Me destroys me, I would just like to say that this wasn't my type of book. I wanted it to be something that it wasn't, based on all the recommendations, but hey at least I can say I read it! (Thanks to the Make Me Read It Readathon)

However, I am happy to say that this turned out better than The Sineater's Daughter. If you've read that, then you know what I mean.

Let's start with Juliette. Juliette is cursed with the inability to touch people because she'll end up hurting them or killing them. She ends up in the asylum for that reason, and suddenly the government, The Reestablishment, wants her power for themselves. Well, more specifically, Warner wants this power for himself. So he sends in Adam, Juliette's childhood friend, to scope out the girl and see if she's fit for the real world.

Sadly, I'm not a fan of the characters.

Warner is a little too creepy for my tastes. I get that a lot of people like him because he's the "bad guy", and I'm sure his story gets better over the course of the series, but as of right now, not for me. The way he behaves around Juliette is just really sketchy, and I'm not a fan of it.

Adam is the well needed hero of the story, and a little too good to be true. First off he can [spoiler] touch Juliette, when no one else can [spoiler]. And of course they both know each other from the past. And of course he just happened to know what Warner was planning, and made sure he was chosen to meet with Juliette in the cell.

And then there's Juliette. I didn't really have a problem with Juliette. But I also didn't really care for her either. Though I am honestly surprised at how sane she is after leaving the asylum. 

The only character I loved was James, Adam's younger brother. Because he is a squish. 

And the too good to be true ending

The ending was NOT what I expected (no surprise haha), just because how? Juliette's been stuck in a asylum for three years, yet here we see [spoiler] more people with superpowers? [spoiler] Like what is this? How did this happen? Where have you guys been for the last three years? There are just so many questions my poor brain cannot handle.

Just to clarify, Shatter Me was entertaining to read, but it wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I will probably continue the series or else Holly will squish me, but I'm hoping it'll get better. Though I have heard that this series does get better, so I'm crossing my fingers!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #28

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!

I won Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity's Blogging Anniversary Giveaway, and I choose Crown of Midnight as my book. Again, thanks Chiara!

I traded with Xander over on #booksfortrade, and I got both None of the Above, and We Are All Made of Molecules, which I have already reviewed!

I borrowed 5 to 1 and it was a quick and short read. I already have my review up for that one!

I am also currently reading Rook, but the beginning was a little slow, and I've put that on hold for now due to the Make Me Read It Readathon!

Speaking of the Make Me Read It Readathon, hosted by both me and Ely @ A Book So Fathomless, I have been doing a pretty good job!
Books YOU voted for:
Shatter Me
An Ember in the Ashes
The Winner's Curse
Siege and Storm

I'm not sure if I will get to Siege and Storm, but maybe I'll still read it next week anyways! I just started The Winner's Curse though, and the Readathon officially ends on July 27th, so I have three days left!

Again, I would like to thank everyone for joining!

This was my first event as a co-host, and I was BEYOND amazed at how many participated in our readathon! (What's next? A miserable and sad WWII readathon! Just kidding. Okay no really it's in the works for winter)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: We Are All Made Of Molecules

We Are All Made Of Molecules by Susin Nielsen
Publisher: Tundra Books
Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Source: #BooksForTrade (Thanks to Xander!)
Date Read: 7/15/15 to 7/17/15
256 pages

Thirteen-year-old Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but "ungifted" socially. Fourteen-year-old Ashley Anderson is the undisputed "It" girl of grade nine, but her marks stink. Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. "The Brady Bunch" it isn't. Stewart is trying to be 89.9% happy about it, but Ashley is 110% horrified. She already has to hide the truth behind her parents' divorce; "Spewart" could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, no matter their differences, they share one thing in common: they--like the rest of us--are all made of molecules.

Written in alternating voices, Susin Nielsen deftly explores family tragedy and family ties; sibling rivalry and union; and adolescent confusion and revelation.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

I actually went into We Are All Made of Molecules without any expectations, and blindly. I read maybe one review for it when it was being published, and I thought "Well if it's good then I'll add it to the TBR!". So in conclusion, this wasn't on my highly anticipated list or anything! However, even with saying that, I felt that the novel fell short a little for me.

Stewart was by far my favorite character. Even though it's 13, he's more intelligent than the others in his grade, which is why he was attending Little Genius Academy, until his mother passed away from cancer. Within two pages of the book, I was also killed by this quote:
"You think you're pregnant?" I heard my dad say.
"I do"
I couldn't help myself. "FINALLY!" I yelled through the vent. "BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!"
The next day, Mom made an appointment with the doctor.
But it wasn't a baby growing inside her. It was cancer.
- Taken from an uncorrected proof

You see that? Horrible.

What else, oh Stewart's father starts dating, and both of them later move in with Ashley and her mother. And that's kind of when everything starts going downhill.

I really, really, don't like Ashley

How old was she? 14? And she literally acted like a 10 year old for most of the novel. She was incredibly inconsiderate of everyone, her father, her mother, Stewart, his father, and her "friends" at school. She was selfish and mean, and only cared about the social ladder. And unfortunately, to her Stewart was only a hindrance and not a step brother.

Fortunately she does develop throughout the novel, being nicer to Stewart and changing her ways, but her initial impression just stuck with me, and I couldn't think of her any better than before. 

The overall message is great, but I just wasn't moved by anything

It's not like I'm expecting ALL THE FEELS from every book, but it's just that after reading so many books, the plot can get dull and bland. Even though We Are All Made of Molecules discussed topics such as bullying, LGBTQ, and being different from normal, nothing really stuck out to me. Though I do have to applaud the author for tackling the issue of being uncomfortable around someone, especially in a sexual way. 

Overall, We Are All Made of Molecules was a quick read, and I enjoyed reading about Stewart and his friends, but not so much of Ashley and Jared (ugh). Either way, I would still recommend this to someone who enjoys contemporary more than I do.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Do Endings Mean A Lot To You?

I've recently noticed that most of my reviews mentioned endings affecting my like or dislike of the book. Whether it's a cliffhanger, a closed ending, an open ending, a plot twist, I end up taking note of it one way or another. Just off the top of my head, I can recall that:

(NOTE: If you love going into books completely blind, skim through this. There is nothing spoiler-y, except for types of endings.)

  • We All Looked Up had an open ending, and even though it fit the type of book it was, I just wasn't content with it.
  • The Falconer had a great cliffhanger ending that I'm sure you've all heard of at this point.
  • Magonia had an ending that made it so that it could've been either continue as a series or a standalone.

What do my favorite endings consist of then?

Good question! From my list above, I really am picky with my endings! At the moment, I can think of two books that I felt had great endings.

  • And the second, is The Book Thief. Even though it's only the saddest book on the planet, it was meant to happen. Plus we still got to see one final character before the book ended.
In conclusion, I need my endings to be perfect. If they aren't, I get all frustrated. I need to know all the answers to my questions, I need a solution or a conclusion to the problem, and I need it to actually make sense. Above all, it needs to satisfy me (Because I am so important haha).

When it comes to series, this is even more important. I don't want to waste all my time with a series if it's only going to end badly (for me). This is kind of why I am avoiding the Divergent series (sorry), and also the Delirium series, which I actually have already read the first book to. 

(Also random thing, do you know who spoiled the ending for the Iron Queen in the Iron Fey series? It was the author herself, Julie Kagawa. I may still read it though, but still. Hahah.)

How about you? Do endings play a huge part in your enjoyment of a book? Or do you not care? Is the journey more important than the end?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #64

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters

For today's TTT, I've decided to just provide you with this nice graphic because my creative juices were running a little. And it's more visual! So, without further ado, I present to you, the venn diagram of diversity!

(Excuse my lack of the socioeconomic category, I just didn't want to make this too complicated. Plus that is less obvious in books, I think, unless it's explicitly stated. And Eon is more of a cultural diversity rather than POC!)

So here is the BIG QUESTION: Do you know of any books that fit into ALL THREE CATEGORIES?  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Review: 5 to 1

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Source: Library
Date Read: 7/14/15 to 7/14/15
244 pages
Rating: 1/2

In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa doesn’t want to be a wife, and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Kiran’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

This beautiful, unique novel is told from alternating points of view—Sudasa’s in verse and Kiran’s in prose—allowing readers to experience both characters’ pain and their brave struggle for hope.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

I know, I know. Another 3.5 star review? Yes. But hey, I really enjoyed 5 to 1, and it was interesting to say in the least. When I saw this on NetGalley, I was expecting more, more world-building, more character development, more on this world where women are treated like princesses and men are treated like dirt.

And India! (A Little Princess, because favorite movie ever)

The story starts off with Sudasa getting married off. The catch is that her suitors have to compete for her hand. Since men are considered lower than women in this world, if they don't marry and have daughters, they're deemed worthless. And their lives won't ever get better. Of course, if you're a girl, you're pretty much set. This is the new India, within India. If you are within the walls of Koyanagar, then you're part of this system. 

The novel is short and sweet, but not all prose

This novel is short. The chapters also not only alternate between Sudasa's and Kiran's POV, but also between poetic verse and prose. This surprised me the most, and I have yet to figure out why Sudasa's thoughts are in verse. Is it because she's a girl and therefore deemed more elegant, or more intellectual? Who knows. Either way, it was refreshing to see the story told from both formats. I have never really read a book written in verse, and this one was very well done.

Speaking of Kiran and Sudasa, they didn't have much interaction. But the little that they had still led them to a strong connection.  

The concept is interesting, but is somewhat lacking and contradictory.

So here is how Koyanagar was founded. It was the Indians of the past constantly favored boys over girls, and often casted the girls aside. As time went on, there were fewer and fewer girls, which meant less to mate with. To protect the girls, the city of Koyanagar was founded by a group of women. No on can enter or leave the city, which means everyone who entered before the door closed can't leave. 

Now here is the contradictory part. Girls are valued higher than boys. Families are pressured into raising girls, because having a boy is a disgrace. But this doesn't make any sense. Wouldn't this lead to the exact problem that started this in the first place? I'm not sure if this was the author's intention, but I feel like this is a huge problem in the world-building. 

It's not about revenge

5 to 1 is about the revenge of females against the males, but the message of the book is that this shouldn't be our path. Everyone deserves to be treated equally, no matter what. In 5 to 1, we clearly see that some women are so against men, which is what led to such a horrible society in the first place. So yes, in real life, the world is unfair. But that doesn't mean that we should take revenge on the ones that wronged us. It may seem like a good idea, but 5 to 1 is a reminder that it revenge may lead to something worse.

I did enjoy 5 to 1, it had a great message in gender equality, and equality in general, but I didn't end up loving the book as I wanted to. But since it's so short (only 244 pages!), I would still recommend it!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Review: Magonia

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Source: Gifted ARC!
Date Read: 7/11/15
320 pages

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

I originally had this on my Make Me Read It Read-a-Thon poll, but seeing that Faye @ The Social Potato was the only one voting for it, I thought "eh, why not just read it now", and it was the greatest decision of my life (Ok, maybe of the day).

Magonia has a very strong start. We're introduced to Aza, who's had a "history of hospitals". She's been having trouble breathing her entire life, it's as if she's drowning in air. But, she has survived for sixteen years, when doctors said she would only survive for one. 

Then, there's Jason. He's a walking wikipedia. And more importantly, he's always on the lookout for Aza, even when she doesn't know it. And they are completely perfect for each other. Yet when they finally realize that, shit goes down. Aza is rushed to the hospital via helicopter, but it crashes as hundreds of birds swoop in.

The first half is about Jason 
and Aza, the second half is fast-paced craziness. 

Aza is literally thrown into a new life. Everyone on Earth thinks she's dead, when she's really sailing on a ship far up in the sky with the Magonians.

Here's a couple things to note about Magonia:
  • It's in the sky
  • You have to sing something into action, in other words it's MAGIC
  • They are bird people that can turn into birds, I think.
  • Also, a cawr, a type of bird, pairs up with each Magonian and nests in their lung cavity to sing with them
It's weird. But it's a cool weird. It's kind of exactly what I wanted with The Girl At Midnight, which I didn't get. Sadly, only about 170 pages was dedicated to explaining this world, which meant not much description. Plus the plot moved along so fast, I had to stop and process every once in a while.

Also, did I mention that I practically bawled my eyes out during the "death scene". Man, that was horrible. I could not stop crying.

Spoiler alert for the Lion King

Who is this Dai person?

I'm pretty sure this isn't supposed to be a love triangle, though I was not too thrilled when a hot, attractive guy was introduced as the first mate. I was going to be so pissed, especially when Aza started to interact with him. 

I know they were supposed to be "bonded" or whatever, but I'm just glad that she stuck with Jason until the very end, always thinking about him first.

I'm pretty sure this is going to be a series

Which would be absolutely fantastic. Especially because 1) I want more bird people, 2) I want more Aza and Jason, and 3) I'm not exactly sure where the ending left us. [spoiler] I mean it was basically back at square one, right? [spoiler] I felt like this was supposed to be a standalone, but then got made into a series, considering how everything happened so quickly. 

I know, I know, it may seem like I had more issues, but I just can't seem to bring myself to rate it any lower than a 4! I practically read the book in a day because of how intriguing and unique it was compared to everything I had read lately. It was different, despite the flaws, which is why I need the next book ASAP. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

To Preorder A Book, Or to Not

Hello, hello! It's been awhile since I've come up with a discussion post, but with all of these new releases coming out this Fall, and the weirdly, but welcomed, discounted price of Queen of Shadows on Amazon, doesn't it seem fitting to talk about pre-ordering books?

(Update: The price of Queen of Shadows has risen, from $9 something to $11 something. Who was the poor intern that decreased that price in the first place?)

So there's a new shiny book. And you want it. But it doesn't come out, say, January 2016. The question is, will you preorder it? Or just wait until the release date before actually buying it? 

Let's be honest, I get VERY distracted by new books. So much so that I will pre-order one here and there. In the last few months, I have pre-ordered one or two, but then I never read them. In that case, is it worth pre-ordering a book if you're not going to read it in the next two days that you get it? Or does it not matter? Would you pre-order a book just to say you have the book physically? Just to LOOK AT ITS SHINYNESS? (I would). 

What Do You Think? Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #63

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

Oh yes another easy Top Ten topic! Let me see, here's the list of what I think came into my possession, from more recent to not! And yes I will be including library books!

We Are All Made Of Molecules by Susin Nielsen - Just received this from Xander through a book trade! I don't exactly remember what it's about, but I know I want to read it!

None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio - Also received this from squishy Xander (he's trustable), and I do so want to read this. I'm very curious.

Soundless by Richelle Mead - I received this from Maryssa through a book trade (She is also super trustable, remind me to add both of them to that google doc)

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli - Borrowed this from the library and I am so happy I read it!

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach - Also borrowed this from the library! I thought it was good! Despite some of the flaws!

The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace - And this one too was borrowed! I heard there's a sequel coming out for it soon! Eek!

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken - I made Holly @ The Fox's Hideaway send this to me (she's lending it to me, I did stand in the BEA line to get a copy for Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight, so she's in my debt forever). I'm not going to say ANYTHING until the release date gets closer.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera - And then I got this from BEA, because Shannon creeped on the SOHO Teen booth til they gave us copies.  

Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot - The best moment of my life. When I met Meg Cabot. BEST MOMENT EVER.

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - Oh I got this one too! Had to wait 2 hours or so, but BEA man. That's what it is, waiting.

Okay, I may have thought this was easy, but it seems like I had to remember as far as BEA. I don't buy books much hahah.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Cover Reveal: Steam

Steam by Stacey Rourke
The Legends Saga #3
Publisher: Anchor Group
Release Date: September 14th 2015
Xpresso Book Tours

A journey through time.

A scarlet letter.

A soul crushing betrayal.

The thrilling Legends Saga concludes in a mash-up of literary all-stars. The works of Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, HG Wells, and Nathaniel Hawthorne come to life in an intricately weaved backstory of love, lies, and deception. The driving force of all involved? Passion. But when that passion is cloaked in darkness, madness reigns.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
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.

(Let's be honest, I never do cover reveals, ever. But I absolutely love this NA series, and it was the first one that really focused more on the plot rather than the romance. And for that I am glad. I'm really looking forward to this final book.)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Review: We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 24th, 2015
Source: Library
Date Read: 7/7/15 to 7/9/15
384 pages
Rating: 1/2

Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.

But then we all looked up and everything changed.

They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we'd been, something that would last even after the end.

Two months to really live.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about We All Looked Up. On one hand, I loved the characters, the chaos, and the development. But then on the other hand, I was dissatisfied. Where the hell was my conclusion?

The title pretty much sums up the plot of the book. Basically, a huge asteroid is hurtling towards Earth, and the probability of impact is high. In just two months, everyone might be dead.

This obviously comes as a shock. What would you do if you only had two months to live? Travel the world? Say goodbye to family? How about blowing up buildings, falling in love, and throwing an End of the World party? Well, that's basically what Peter, Anita, Eliza, and Andy end up doing. These four, being completely separate before the asteroid, end up coming together despite all of their differences.

The characters are genuine, 
but what really interested me was their development. 

For all of them, the coming of the end of the world ends up being a good thing. Well, almost a good thing. Once you realize that life is coming to an end, it's no surprise that everyone is discontent with at least some part of their life. Peter felt like his lifestyle wasn't bringing anything to the world. Anita hates the fact that she's only an investment to her parents. Eliza realized that she liked having friends. And Andy, well he was going after a girl that didn't even love him! The dynamics between all of them were interesting to watch.

The events were believable, except for some here and there.

Chaos everywhere? Yes. Sending people to prison for disturbing the peace? Yes that's pretty plausible, even if there are only two months left. Throwing an end of the world party? I guess so. Creating a Tumblr photography blog and having it go viral overnight? Yeah...ok, it is fiction. [spoiler] Dying over being beaten up? [spoiler] Uh, I'm not sure how serious it was, but this was just so sudden. At one point he was there, and the next he was not. I almost missed it!

I wanted a conclusion. I continued to read the book for a conclusion!

Did I get it? No, I did not. And because of that, I am sad. I mean fine, sure, it's probably better as an open ender, but that is totally not my style. Though I would have to say that my favorite part was Eliza's made up philosophy, which does tie in with the ending. So I'm not too bummed by the end.

Overall? I'm glad I read this. I didn't expect this to be absolutely AMAZING from reviews I've read months ago, but it was still an interesting topic to explore. Actually to be honest, every time I took a break, I almost believed that an actual asteroid was hurtling our own Earth. And then I remembered it was this book. Ha. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 7th, 2015
Source: Library
Date Read: 6/30/15 to 7/1/15
303 pages

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.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Before I go into my review, I just want to say that this book lives up to the hype. Not only is it an incredible coming of age story, but it also ties in an intriguing plot involving a secret relationship with a mysterious boy under a pen name, Blue. (No, it does not help that all I can think about is Blue from The Raven Cycle)

Simon Spier is gay, though he's not open about it yet. After seeing a heartfelt post on the high school's "Tumblr" (those secret Tumblr blogs, you know what I mean, right?), he decides to message the user who created the post with his email, saying they should chat. And BAM that leads to tons of email exchanges, leading to friendship, and (dun dun DUN) something more. But the catch is, Simon doesn't know who Blue is. And he's starting to wonder, is it better to keep it that way, or finally meet each other?

But I'm tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.

As the synopsis states, blackmail happens, and Martin appears. I don't want to reveal too much, but I just want to say that this book will make you suspect everyone. You'll constantly be wondering who Blue is, and whether it really is this one person or not. But in the end, everything will still turn out okay because 1) The emails are hilarious and full of fluff, and 2) There is a happy ending and luckily no one dies, or suffers brain trauma, or just anything tragic in general.

And I'm sure you are aware of this, but be prepared for all the oreos!

When it comes to the other side characters, well, to be honest I didn't really mind them that much, but neither did I absolutely love them. They weren't as awesome as the friend circle in Emmy & Oliver, but they were true enough friends with Simon. I didn't particularly like the development between [spoiler] Abby and Nick, because why? [spoiler], and I'm sad that [spoiler] Leah got left out of most of it [spoiler]. But life is life I guess. I don't really have anything to complain about.

Did I mention how cute the ending was? IT WAS PERFECT. My little heart is content.

So yes, read this book. I clearly gave it 5 stars so everyone should just follow my lead and give into peer pressure. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens was everything I wanted and more, and I am sad that it ended because Simon and Blue are adorable.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #62

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read

But I will soon! Because I have a lot of them. There are also a ton of hyped up books from this year that I just haven't gotten to yet because of time. And then I don't know, I just ended up never reading them! Darn.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - I won this book in a giveaway, and it was definitely my most anticipated for 2015, but now, I'll get to it someday?

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir - I bought this when it first came out, but I just ended up not reading it! Especially with all the hype it's gotten over the past few months. Hopefully I get to it in my Readathon!

Divergent by Veronica Roth - I think I've said this multiple times, but I'm just not interested in this or the trilogy at all!

Paper Towns by John Green - I used to want to read this, but now all the hype from the upcoming movie is just not working for me.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman - I just never was interested in reading this, though I did have it on my Goodreads TBR before it got super popular.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - I think this is the leading book in my Readathon poll? So I'll definitely have it read by the end of the month!

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski - I'm hoping I'll get to read this during the Make Me Read It Readathon!

Uprooted by Naomi Novik - I've seen this EVERYWHERE in the blogosphere, so of course I want it! Also the hardcover is gorgeous.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - Apparently this was a 2014 Goodreads winner! But man I don't know, I'm not really feeling it at the moment. And it takes place in Massachusetts. 

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - This is a book that's been hyped more by bookstores, Barnes and Noble specifically. I do want to read it, especially after reading Joy @ Joyous Reads review of it happens I guess. I just don't have all the time to read ALL the books!
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