Category Archives: YA

Top Ten Tuesday – February 28, 2017: Favorite #bookstagram Photos of Mine

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
February 28, 2017

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was a freebie!

I always come up with these great ideas for some freebies or variations on topics with the best intentions like bookish infographics or the best #bookstagram photos out there! But I neglected to save all of the cool infographics I’ve come across and aside from the fact that I haven’t saved Instagram photos from other accounts, there’s no way I could pick ten favorites from all of the amazingly talented people out there! So once again, we end up viewing personal favorites from my own collection.

I’ve been getting more and more into taking those neat #bookstagram photos and it’s interesting to see how things have come along over the years! Photos that I was proud of last year look totally horrible to me now and I feel like I’ve really worked on my lighting and props to come up with some really solid photos. I’m not photographer and I don’t have the skills that some other bookstagrammers do but I’m pretty proud of some of these photos! I picked my top ten favorites from my Instagram account to share today. (In order from most recent told oldest, for convenience.)

LUNARTIC SHELFIE | January 13, 2017
I had finally gotten around to taking a new selfie after the addition of HEARTLESS and special Owlcrate edition of HEARTLESS… but it’s already outdated because I’ve since added WIRES AND NERVE to my Marissa Meyer collection! OH DARN going to have to take another one…

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

SIMON TEEN ON THE SCENE | December 24, 2016
Simon Teen sent this AWESOME blogger package and I was thrilled to receive these books AND a mug! I really liked the way this photo turned out as far as lighting went and I think it looks nice in more muted tones instead of amping up the saturation. I also loved the pop of the plaid scarf for some reason!

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

CARAVAL, COFFEE, AND COOKIES | November 12, 2016
I did it for the ‘gram when I set up this photo while on vacation and bought two more macarons just so I could get the fancy box for my Instagram photo. What can I say… their packaging totally succeed in getting me to buy more! They were all delicious and to this day, I still miss them and want more. I was reading CARAVAL while in Salem with my BFFs (and I also miss this whole trip to this day because it was glorious) and this all came together for an interesting photo that’s apparently pretty popular on Tumblr.

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

HALLOWEEN AND SERIAL KILLERS | October 31, 2016
I got to interview STALKING JACK THE RIPPER author Kerri Maniscalco for our Fortnight of Fright blog event and so naturally, I had to take another photo of her book with the Foggy Knight candle! The lighting on this one highlighted the blood splatter so beautifully and I love it so.

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

AN ABUNDANCE OF CINDERS | August 29, 2016
I added some new versions of CINDER to my Lunar Chronicles collection and I had to snap a photo of them! I was too tired to drag the whole collection out so I just grabbed all of the copies of CINDER I had instead!

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

THE SUN SHINES ON THE SHELFIE | August 21, 2016
This was the first FULL shelfie I had taken in a while and the sun left a night highlight in the middle. It’s hard to get the whole bookcase in one shot and I liked the way this one turned out!

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

A STACK OF THRONES | August 6, 2016
This photo isn’t very complicated but sometimes those simple, clean photos are the best. I simply stacked my mass markets of A Song of Ice and Fire, popped some color in, and added a candle to complete the scene!

MY SORCERER’S STONE | July 30, 2016
I used a prompt from a photo challenge to come up with this photo. It was a “House Cup” challenge, so I represented my house of Ravenclaw and the other part of the prompt was “Horcruxes versus Hallows”. Secret? My husband and I both had rock collections when we were kids and we both still have them haha! So I went into the basement to sort through our rocks to find one that was Sorcerer’s Stone-appropriate and this was what I got! Also, have you ever included your hand in a photo? Whether it’s holding a stone or a mug, it’s REALLY hard to get your fingers to cooperate and look delicate instead of clunky and awkward.

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

ANGRY IN NANTUCKET | May 27, 2016
This was another photo prompt for some underrated reads and I chose books by Louise Rozett and Leila Howland. Another simple, clean photo turned out be one of my favorites.

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | May 12, 2016
This photo was a totally random moment that I took after a day on the floor of BEA 2016. I had just stacked up my books on the bed to assess what I had picked up and was chilling out with my delicious Starbucks when I decided to snap a photo of my current view because it looked like the perfect photo opp. I think all I did was make sure the coffee was at a good angle and move that clutch further into the photo frame to round it out and it turned out pretty awesome! I think this is actually the Instagram photo of mine with the most likes ever. Go figure!

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on


Are you a bookstagrammer? Do you take the time to set up photos or is it just more work than it’s worth for you?

Top Ten Tuesday – February 21, 2017: Ten Black Sheep Moments

 

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
February 21, 2017

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was Ten Books I Loved More/Less Than I Thought I Would and I opted to share my black sheep moments!

I feel like more and more lately I’ve become the black sheep on so many popular books. My best friends loved them. The general population loved them. They’re incredible well-rated books. There the most popular books in the country right now… But they’re just not the books for me.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic prompted a sharing of books that we loved more or less than we thought we would and I wanted to share some of those black sheep moments that I’ve had, whether recently or in the past. Some of these may shock you. Some of these may cause you to unfriend me or throw your books at me or jump up and down screaming “How could you possibly think that!?” but you know… finding a fellow black sheep is kind of an amazing feeling. I try not to dwell on a negative opinion but when I find someone else who’s in the incredibly small portion of people who didn’t like a popular book, I immediately stop by and say, “Hey, me too!”

So after babbling on and on (maybe I’m just delaying it because of fear of all the judging that is about to happen!), here are my Top Ten Black Sheep Books!


AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir
Goodreads average rating: 4.32 stars | My rating: DNF

Ummmm yeahhhhhh. I didn’t finish this one. I started listening on audio WITH TWO OF MY FAVORITE NARRATORS and was bored and annoyed and felt like the book wasn’t doing anything new. Prophecies, blah. It was too perfect and too convenient. I tried picking up my ARC and just couldn’t get into it. Meh. | My Review


THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green
Goodreads average rating: 4.28 stars | My rating: 3 stars

the fault in our stars tfios

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is the highest-rated book on my “black sheep” books list. I had never read a John Green book before this and everyone raaaaved how much they loved it so obviously I had very high hopes! What I found was just… not the best. The teens were way too well-spoken (like more than adults EVER are) and the conversations just felt unrealistic and pretentious. It was my first John Green book and I haven’t really found one since that I loved. | My Review


THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by Mindy McGinnis
Goodreads average rating: 4.27 stars | My rating: 3 – 3.5 stars

I guess this was more of a black sheep book in the sense that I was left confused in so many ways on how I felt about it. Main character Alex was emotionally cold and closed-off and yet she was extremely over-feeling. The ending of the book infuriated me and yet it was also kind of the only way it could end. Things like that left me with an overall feeling of confusion. I was totally on board with the overall message and the fact that McGinnis didn’t shy away from sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll (okay, or just sex and drugs). But I also really, really didn’t like the unnecessary involvement of animal abuse. If it needed to be included, it could have been for a plot point and instead, there was no point to it. | My Review


THE GOOSE GIRL by Shannon Hale
Goodreads average rating: 4.18 stars | My rating: 2 stars

I read this with Alyssa and Amy as an On the Same Page buddy read because it was one of Amy’s favorite books and… I was surprised she didn’t ditch me because of my feelings on the book. I actually *whispers almost inaudibly* kiiiind of skimmed the end? I don’t know why but I just could not get into this book. It just wasn’t my thing. | My Review


CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber
Goodreads average rating: 4.15 stars | My rating: 3 stars

CARAVAL was a good example of one of those horrible, horrible black sheep moments. The one where I’m SURE I’ll love the book. The moment where I’m so confident that I break my rule of getting ARCs (much less books) personalized and save my extra manuscript copy (which has now gone to a good home) because I don’t want to get rid of them, just in case I need them for a future collection. Instead, it’s goodbye spare copies and I don’t even want a finished copy. I was really disappointed in CARAVAL. It was entertaining enough but I don’t understand what people saw in it. The world was too all-over-the-place, I hated the sister relationship, and the ending was crap. The imagery was amazingly gorgeous and the boy was swoony but that wasn’t enough to save the book for me. If anyone needs an ARC and you don’t mind my name in it… I won’t need it! | My Review


UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
Goodreads average rating: 4.14 stars | My rating: 2.5 – 3 stars

 

This was another book that I read with Alyssa and Amy that they loved and I didn’t (seriously, why are they still friends with me?) but at least I was able to pinpoint that it was a style clash with me. I don’t need all action all the time to enjoy a book but the pacing in UPROOTED felt slow and detailed and I just had a really hard time pushing through it. I ended up speed-reading (aka skimming) parts until I came around to a bit more going on in the end. When it came down to it, it was just a style issue for me.


KIDS OF APPETITE by David Arnold
Goodreads average rating: 4.08 stars | My rating: 3 stars

I didn’t end up reading MOSQUITOLAND before I read KIDS OF APPETITE but I had heard nothing but good things for David Arnold’s book! I had also met him a year or two ago and he was just such a wonderful person… But I really didn’t enjoy KIDS OF APPETITE. Again, it was a style thing for the most part, combined with a bit too much repetition (I don’t ever want to hear the word “racehorse” again). Something about it just wasn’t for me and it actually kind of reminded me of John Green’s books which as we know from this post are not really for me. | My Review


 

SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
Goodreads average rating: 4.02 stars | My rating: DNF

Shatter Me

This book should have been so me in concept, especially around the time when it came out… but I just could not stand the writing. All the strikethroughs drove me nuts and I just had a really hard time reading it. I eventually gave up and despite the awesome ratings, never felt the pull to come back to it.


TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard
Goodreads average rating: 3.94 stars | My rating: 2 stars

I spent WEEKS reading TRUTHWITCH. I just could not get into it. This had the makings of a perfect Brittany book but it just did not come together for me. For starters, I started with the audio and hated the narrator. Like one of the worst narrators I have ever, ever listened to. Everything was overacted and just not in line with the character personalities. BUT that problem is easily solved — I just switched to my print copy… which I had purchased so I could keep reading. And still took weeks to finish it. I just wanted so, so much more from the world-building, from the romance, and even from the friendship. I just didn’t feel any of it jiving… not to mention it was hyped up in SEPTEMBER allllllll the way until January when it was released. That’s way too much hype. | My review


THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake
Goodreads average rating: 3.86 stars | My rating: 3 stars

This one doesn’t seem too bad from Goodreads average rating to my own rating but SO many of my friends gave this four stars and a lot of them gave it five “this book is amazing” stars. I… didn’t get it. The pacing was slow, which in retrospect was in part because it was the first in a series which Goodreads had not noted when I first picked it up so I thought I was reading a stand alone. How. Killer. Then again, even if I had known I was reading the first in a series, it still would have been slow. The world was interesting and I loved getting to know the three queen sisters and yet I was still missing so much. I wanted a lot more depth from each girl and I felt like not a whole lot happened until the very end and things got good on like, the last page! Plus there was a very dumb love triangle that felt totally unnecessary and I hated it (and love triangles usually don’t bother me). I don’t know if I’ll keep reading the series, mostly because I’m mad at it. | My Review


Those are my big, old black sheep books! (Please don’t yell at me!) So fellow black sheep… let’s unite! I know these are big fan-favorites among many but I want to hear from the fellow black sheep on these. Who else is out there!?

Bone Gap – Laura Ruby

Bone Gap – Laura RubyTitle: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Publishing Info: March 3, 2015 by HarperCollins
Source: Borrowed from Hoopla
Genres: Young Adult, Mythology, Magical Realism
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: December 11, 2016

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?
Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.
As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

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BONE GAP has been highly praised and sounded incredibly intriguing, often being marked as “magical realism” by several of its readers, so when I saw the audiobook pop in my options from Hoopla, I knew I really wanted to read it! I’ve been getting into magical realism more and more lately and it sounded like something I was definitely in the mood for, especially with its positive feedback.

I guess the biggest thing that stuck with me after finishing the book is that I’m not really sure in what category to put this book! It ended up being on a sort of Raven Cycle plane where it’s kind of magical realism, kind of mythology, and kind of its own genre. BONE GAP felt like took a while to get to the “magical” parts but there were some things that were constantly developing that finally blossomed into their full potential towards the end of the book, sort of causing that magical reveal. I do have to say, though, that I was hoping for a bit more of that throughout the beginning and middle. It definitely had a unique feel and was unlike anything I’ve ever read but I still struggled — as I have with a lot of books lately — in feeling connected to the overall concept in the earlier portions of the book.

The ending of the book seemed like a little too much at all once. The portions of the book with Roza were certainly leading there, and the reader is fully aware that what’s happening to Roza certainly isn’t normal, but the ending almost left me with more questions than answers in some respects. One big issue I also had with this book was my own interpretation of the synopsis.

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised.

I accidentally took this statement literally, and with so many mentions of magical realism, I was assuming that the gaps were literal gaps in the corn field — like a Field of Dreams sort of concept — and people ended up disappearing. I mean, the town is named Bone Gap so I thought the gap was literal. Whenever I have misinterpretations like that, it really takes me a while to adjust, so that was more of a personal problem and I had to really refocus.

The bright, shining piece of this book for me what the interesting cast of characters! Finn, Sean, Roza, and Petey are such complex and interesting characters, with many different relationships to tie them together. I loved all of the different forms of love that are included in this book and how many different layers there were to each one. Each personality was so different too! The characters all have their strong points and each one really helps the others learn and grow. It’s a beautiful, tangled web and I really enjoyed each character that the book featured!

BONE GAP was cleverly written and wonderfully layered. The whole concept (aside from the magical aspects) was built upon a reveal that I didn’t even see coming until it was almost revealed and it was wholly unique and a little heart-breaking. I was impressed with Laura Ruby’s creativity, depth, and ability to plot out the whole book in ways that I hadn’t imagined. I always feel like it’s super impressive when I’m able to be caught off-guard because being an avid reader, I’ve just read so many different things that it’s always impressive to see even more originality in a book.

 

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Kept Me Hooked On: Incredibly unique concepts. I love being able to read a book unlike anything else I’ve read before! In a blogging world where I’m constantly looking for read alikes, it’s very, very cool to read something that I can’t even compare to anything else.
Left Me Wanting More: Clarity. I had the minor (well, maybe more than minor) issue that I misinterpreted the synopsis and unfortunately, it did affect how I read the book. I also had the moments in the book itself where I just wanted a little bit more information on the world and the details.

Addiction Rating
Try it

Sadly I didn’t love this book but I also didn’t dislike it. It was a smooth read from start to finish but I do think that some things could have been described a bit more. Others have totally loved it though! I’m definitely interested in reading more from Laura Ruby and I’m excited to see what else she comes up with!

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BOOKS LIKE BONE GAP

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    SHADOWLANDS

Top Ten Tuesday – February 14, 2017: Friends-to-More Romance

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
February 14, 2017

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was All About X Romance/Trope! I have so many favorites but friends-to-more is one of my top choices for romance!  

The Friends-to-More romance is one of my favorite tropes! Whether it’s best friends who have known each other for a long time or two recent friends who start to have feelings for each other, I just love the trope in any way! I’ve created a few posts about it including the Best-Friend-Turned-Boyfriend post (both one and two) and I started compiling a Comprehensive List for my favorite trope, which I hope to keep updated the more books I find that fit the list! Here are a few of my favorites for today’s Top Ten Tuesday!

ON THE FENCE by Kasie West  | Goodreads | Amazon

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is my go-to for this trope but you know what… I MAY love the romance in ON THE FENCE even more. Dare I say it? ANNA will still be my top contemp but I just love this one from Kasie West!


ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins | Goodreads | Amazon

My top contemporary booooook! I’m sure if you’ve been on my blog, you know everything that I have to say on this.


The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas | Goodreads | Amazon

Titus and Iolanthe!!!! They became an instant OTP as soon as I started reading this series. Gah, I just love them in every way.


emmy & oliver book cover

EMMY & OLIVER by Robin Benway | Goodreads | Amazon

I haven’t read many books that are childhood friends reuniting after being apart for a long time and this story from Robin Benway was touching, swoony, and serious all at the same time!


Shadow and Bone

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo |  Goodreads | Amazon

I was one person who did not ship Alina and the Darkling in this series. I was more more Alina/Mal, especially towards the end of the series! They were just MEANT to be together!


The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins |  Goodreads | Amazon

The romance is actually my least favorite part of this entire series but I was way more Team Gale than I ever was Team Peeta! I’m just a sucker for that best-friends-to-more.


The Raven Boys - Maggie Steifvater

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater |  Goodreads | Amazon

Basically this whole series is friends-to-more, and kind of in more than one way. I love the all encompassing friendships and romances here!


When Joss Met Matt Eliie Cahill Liz Czukas

WHEN JOSS MET MATT by Ellie Cahill |  Goodreads | Amazon

Funny, adorable, sexy, and swoony — I fell head over heels for WHEN JOSS MET MATT and if you’re looking for a good New Adult book, you totally need to read this one!


Say whaaaat? This is all I have for friends-to-more!? Tell me what other books you loved featuring this trope!

 

Where Futures End – Parker Peevyhouse

Where Futures End – Parker PeevyhouseTitle: Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse
Publishing Info: February 9, 2016 by Penguin
Source: Publisher, Borrowed from Hoopla
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Parallel Universe
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: December 6, 2016

Five teens.
Five futures.
Two worlds.
One ending.
One year from now, Dylan develops a sixth sense that allows him to glimpse another world.
Ten years from now, Brixney must get more hits on her social media feed or risk being stuck in a debtors' colony.
Thirty years from now, Epony scrubs her entire online profile from the web and goes “High Concept.”
Sixty years from now, Reef struggles to survive in a city turned virtual gameboard.
And more than a hundred years from now, Quinn uncovers the alarming secret that links them all.
Five people, divided by time, will determine the fate of us all. These are stories of a world bent on destroying itself, and of the alternate world that might be its savior--unless it's too late.

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Wow, that was so incredibly disappointing. Even after finishing, I’m not sure what the point of this book was. I was excited because it featured four different points in time, all tying back to one specific concept but the different time periods were truly pointless. I’m even more disappointed because I actually liked the very first POV of Dylan and his discovery of The Other Place. I would have read a whole book about that in itself and I think that’s how this book really should have gone because the switches to different times left literally everything undeveloped. It wasn’t enough time to get to know new characters, it wasn’t enough time to get to know new times, and it wasn’t nearly enough time to understand how The Other Place connected to these time periods other than brief encounters that some of the characters had. There was absolutely no point to the 10 years from now and 30 years from now time periods. The 60 didn’t really have much more substance either, I guess, but it had a virtual reality concept that I enjoyed given my experience with books like READY PLAYER ONE and a Sanderson novella, Perfect State. 100 years from now tied back into The Other Place but this was something that could have been developed in an entire story with just Dylan’s POV, all set in today’s time, and it all could have actually been developed. That was truly the only enjoyable part of this story. There’s so much switching around and the new time periods don’t even tell you much about The Other Place, why it’s so important, and what its actual connection is with our world.

I would have actually read Dylan’s whole story and I think that WOULD have been a great book. It had a Neverending Story kind of feel (I’m sure I was influenced by their mention of it but it really did have that feel for me) and his story was clearly the most important. There was a lot to explore and set up and build there and the author chose instead to push the meat and potatoes of the book aside and start exploring new worlds. I think maybe those future worlds would have made good novellas to supplement Dylan’s story, or even a series with these being sequels or companions… But for the love of all that is good, don’t abandon something so important like that. The other time periods weren’t even interesting. They were surface stories that didn’t go anywhere, setting up romances to watch them fall, celebrity fame, egos… I mean, it didn’t even connect to the Other Place other than some interactions with the people and mentions of people going back and forth. There was little to no reason for these characters to be main characters in the story and they barely interacted with the important parts of the plot. They were shallow characters, shallow stories, and really not for me.

This book was kind of fanta-sci (a fantasy and sci-fi mix) but I don’t feel like that concept was structured well. It was fantasy in the sense that the Other Place was made to feel like a fantasy world — magic, forests, mages, water nymphs, creatures, etc — and yet it was also described as an alternate universe. So is it a magical world made real or is it a real world that we create into fantasies? It was all a little fuzzy. I wouldn’t say this alternate world has to be like ours, because you can’t expect all universes to be like ours, but the author didn’t seem to really distinguish exactly what it really was and kind of waffled back and forth, especially with the mix of calling the people from the other world “aliens”. I can see why aliens would be an appropriate term but it also didn’t quite feel right. The different futures also added to the sci-fi feel but then it even extended into dystopian as the futures progress and the readers see such a decline of our own world. And Dylan’s portion in the beginning was sort of magical realism meets sci-fi… so it was just all very muddy.

When it comes down to it, I’m mostly just so disappointed in how everything was so underdeveloped. When a seasoned reader can’t even tell you the point of the story when the book is over, that’s not a good thing. I needed to spend so much more time with the Other Place to really understand it and even just understand why this story about it was important. Sure, okay, it was important because in the end, it severely impacts our world but why? How? It was just kind of told that this is what it is and this is what happens but there was no detail how things worked, why our world was connected, or even why the Other Place affected our world so much.

Mostly, I just didn’t enjoy the writing. I can sometimes overlook plot holes or lack of details if I’m enjoying a book but pretty much everything except the beginning and end was pointless. Every character except for Dylan was annoying (Reed was okay but his world was still meh). This book was just one giant disappointment when it could have been so good. So much potential and not put to good use.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Fantasci. This book was kind of a mash-up of fantasy and sci-fi… with some magical realism feels? It was interesting but I did wish for more clarification.
Left Me Wanting More: Of one story. Just when things got going in one character’s story, the story switched to a new one. It was really frustrating, felt under developed, and didn’t allow me to connect with anyone or anything.

Addiction Rating
Skip it

This book was too all over the place and didn’t come together in the end. I’d say just skip it!

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BOOKS LIKE WHERE FUTURES END

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    INSIGNIA

Blog Tour: The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles | Guest Post on Instalove

Welcome to the blog tour for
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles!

I’m so excited to share today’s blog post which is my blog tour stop for THE EDGE OF EVERYTHING by Jeff Giles! I was so honored to read the book early and provide a blurb for the ARC, thanks to Bloomsbury Kids, and then to meet Jeff Giles at BEA and be able to say hello. Now I’m a part of the blog tour and it’s been so great being so involved with this book!

For today’s post, Jeff Giles is talking a little bit about instalove. As with some books where two worlds collide, instalove happens. Heck, instalove just happens in real life. When I first saw the topics for guest posts for the blog tour, I instantly latched onto this one because I feel the same way! I even had a post that defended instalove because not all instalove is unrealistic. Today’s post has a full discussion from Jeff and I just love it!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles | Guest Post on InstaloveTitle: The Edge of Everything (The Edge of Everything #1) by Jeff Giles
Publishing Info: January 31, 2017 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Publisher, BEA 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: March 27, 2016
Related Posts: The Edge of Everything

It's been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who's still reeling from her father's shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors' mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods--only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.
X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe's evil attacker and others like him. Forbidden to reveal himself to anyone other than his victims, X casts aside the Lowlands' rules for Zoe. As X and Zoe learn more about their different worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for both of them.

“INSTALOVE ACTUALLY”
by Jeff Giles

When you’ve got a novel about to come out, you spend a lot of time reading reviews of other people’s books as a sort of dress rehearsal for reading your own.

I love the intensity of opinion among readers, whether it’s positive, negative or sideways. For some reason, I especially love the continuing debate about instalove, so I thought I’d share the thoughts that have been piling up in my head.

When I was younger, instalove was called “love at first sight”—and nobody ever questioned it. People generally liked the idea that, at any moment, they could turn a corner, accidentally spill coffee on someone, and proceed directly to Happily Ever After. The trope was no more realistic then than it is now, but it made every second of every day feel like a lottery ticket that could pay off big.

These days, a lot of readers DNF novels like that, of course. That may be because young people are savvier now. They know, from the internet, that some people lie about/disguise who they are every day.

For the record, I think it’s a good thing to be careful about falling in love and to expect novels to be subtle and realistic. I’m not in love with instalove in any way—but I want to say a few things in its defense, because I think it get a bad rap sometimes. Not always, but sometimes. So let’s pretend that I’m instalove’s court-appointed lawyer and I have to defend it, because it’s my job. Okay?

Here we go.

1. Sometimes people DO fall in love instantly.

It happens, even if it doesn’t happen a lot. One of the gifts, and curses, of being young is that you feel things with an almost supernatural intensity. Juliet was 13. Romeo was a couple years older.

But people of all ages can fall in love fast. It may be because they’re at a transitional point in their lives and especially open to possibility. It may be because they’re vulnerable after a loss or a trauma. It may be because they’re stranded in the Artic during a scientific expedition and the generator’s dying and the helicopter’s not coming after all and they have to huddle for warmth. But it does happen.

2. Not every character who THINKS they’re in love is ACTUALLY in love.

People lie to themselves sometimes. We ALL know people like this. They want to be in love so much that they rush in, in clear violation of the famous Elvis song about how only fools rush in. A lot of times instalove is just insta-lust in disguise, obviously. If you see a character whose eyes turn into heart emojis within three pages, the author may setting him or her up for a fall.  

3. If a novel (or a movie) is good enough, it will make you forget that you hate instalove.

The Titanic sank within four days. Four! That’s how long Jack and Rose had to fall in love. Yes, it helps that Jack selflessly gave his life even when there was definitely enough room for him on that floating door.

4. People are more likely to fall in love fast if someone (parents, say) or something (an iceberg, maybe) are trying to keep them apart.

That happens constantly in books and movies, right? It happens in real life, too. None of us want to be told who to love. None of us want to give up because there’s a war coming, or a dystopian government has outlawed love.

5. Even bad instalove is better than that thing where two people meet and hate each other’s guts before realizing they’re soul mates.

I can’t stand that. Give me anything else. Just because you detest someone does not mean you should marry them!

6. If a character is going through tragic stuff, as many YA characters are, an author may just really want to give them a partner for the journey.

It’s not a great excuse, I know. But authors are protective of their characters, and they often want someone to stand by their MC every second and say, “I love you. You can do this.” Yes, that person could be a friend or a sibling or a sentient robot, but sometimes you really just want to give your character someone to kiss.


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You (You #1) – Caroline Kepnes

You (You #1) – Caroline KepnesTitle: You (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes
Publishing Info: September 30, 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Audible
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: December 1, 2016

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

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Well, for all of the hype for this book, it didn’t really leave me feeling shocked or awed or super impressed, but I did find that it left a lasting impression and that I wanted to read the next book right away! I did like the things that were different about it. I really enjoyed the different narration in the second person, hence the title “You”. Main character (and super psychopath) Joe narrates the book to and about his newest obsession, Guinevere Beck. It was an interesting choice of narration and it really gets you in the head of the narrator. I did have a hard time with the book — not in a bad way, but in a way that confused me because this guy is totally nuts. He’s actually crazy and creepy and scary and does some very, very bad things… And yet I felt sympathetic at times! The form of narration really had me feeling for him even though I knew he was totally wrong and deranged. I also really enjoyed Joe’s voice in the sense that it felt more personal. It wasn’t just recounting. He often interrupted himself or interjected with more things that brought one more level to the account.

For all of the hype, I felt like there was supposed to be a twist coming and while that really wasn’t this kind of book. I think I got myself all hyped because of other people’s reactions and it didn’t really shock me like I thought it would, but instead, it was shocking in a very different way. I was so appalled at Joe’s actions and yet it was also a train wreck that I couldn’t stop watching. I really did get myself all psyched for a big twist moment, so I was a bit sad that that didn’t happen, but I also am coming to appreciate those thrillers that can wrap up without a twist because if every book had a twist, they’d all be predictable!

The book was very sexual, and I don’t have issues with sexuality in books, but it did feel overdone at times. I guess that is kind of the point of the book in a way, since Joe’s obsession is romantic on all levels. He’s obsessed with Beck emotionally, physically, and mentally. Clearly he has several psychoses so the obsession is overboard on so many levels. I am used to reading YA which really doesn’t get explicit of course, but there were points that felt like a little much for me.

YOU was interesting and engaging from start to finish and I did enjoy reading it but I think I was just let down by the hype. I kept waiting for a huge moment that didn’t really happen and I thought that’s how the book would end but was also kind of hoping it wouldn’t. Looking back on it as I’m reviewing, I really was totally engaged so that really did leave a good lasting impression! Somehow Joe came off as charismatic in a way and I wanted to pick up HIDDEN BODIES shortly thereafter!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Crazy, messed-up thrillers. I don’t know why but every once in a while, I like a good, messed up book.
Left Me Wanting More: Twists. I guess I did appreciate the lack of a big twist but I was also really expecting it so it was kind of a bummer!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

If you like some crazy thrillers that put you into the mind of a literal psychopath, definitely check out YOU!

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BOOKS LIKE YOU

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    THE GOOD GIRL