Friday, May 25, 2018

ARC Review: The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan

Title: The Accidental Bad Girl
Author: Maxine Kaplan
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 384
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After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall starts senior year friendless and ostracized. She plans to keep her head down until she graduates. But after discovering her online identity has been hacked and she’s being framed for stealing from a dealer, Kendall is drawn into a tenuous partnership with the mastermind of a drug ring lurking in the shadows of her Brooklyn private school. If she wants to repair her tattered reputation and save her neck, she’ll have to decide who she really is—and own it. The longer she plays the role of “bad girl,” the more she becomes her new reputation. Friends and enemies, detectives and drug dealers—no one is who they appear to be. Least of all Kendall.

My mom was able to snag this book for me at Yallfest last year.  I didn't know too much about the book going into it other than it was about a girl getting framed and leading to her getting sucked into the drug selling world.  Because of this fact, I didn't really have a lot of expectations for this book and was just kinda meh about it.  I was not really into this book nor was I really against it.

I have to give Kaplan some credit for trying to blend contemporary and mystery/thriller genres, but I just wasn't feeling it.  The book seemed to be one genre one moment and then give me whiplash as it became another.  I do wish this book had a bit more of mystery in it as it seemed to lack in that and be almost too predictable.

I found Kendall's character to be a little strange.  I feel like the deeper I try to delve into her character the more uncomfortable I become.  She didn't seem to have any true friends at all, people slut shame her horribly, and the deal she made with the drug lord was almost laughable.  I would've said screw it to the space camp and not delivered the drugs.  Kendall does end up learning a lot from her mistakes and growing a bit in the end, but I'm still not really sure how I feel about her.

This book did try to hit on things like the aforementioned slut shaming and rape, but I'm not really sure if it was in a good way or not as there aren't too many books out there that talk about these topics and, thank goodness, I haven't had to deal with issues like that.

I do kind of like how the romance was handled in this book.  I couldn't live with myself having read this book if it ended any different from how it did.  And there really wasn't to much of it which was a pleasant surprise compared to most YA books written these days.

While I do wish this book was a bit better, it definitely was pretty good for a debut novel, and I'll probably pick up another one of Maxine Kaplan's book in the future.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

ARCs and the pressure they come with


Don’t get me wrong, I love receiving books, reading them and then posting reviews, but lately I’ve been feeling the pressure. I got so many ARCs last year at BookCon and Yallfest, plus a bunch through trades and a few from publishers and authors. You can see how this kind of snowballed. I had so many ARCs to read that I was stressing myself out. I’m fact, I’m still stressing myself out a bit.

It’s gotten to the point now that as I’m slowly working through them that I’m finding a lot of books I was highly anticipating fell horribly short and a lot of the already published books I wanted to read were just sitting on my shelf. Frankly, it’s disappointing.

I really want to review all these books, but I don’t have time and I’m bummed when they don’t live up to the hype. Honestly, I’m kinda sick of letting the published books just sit when they almost seem more appealing to me.

And here lies the dilemma: do I stop reading my ARCs or finish what I’ve got and then read the already published books?  I do have 3-4 more ARCs that I desperately want to read, but after that I’m not sure if I’ll read too many more at least for now. I don’t want to neglect all the brand new hardcovers I have laying around anymore. Plus I have a bunch of series that I need to finish.

Do you feel any review pressure at all?  How do you choose what ARCs to read and what to set aside?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #188: Weird character names


Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Best Weirdest Character Names

So. I can't remember character names to save my life. Literally two days after I finish a book I'll have to look it up to remember names. Let's be honest - weird sticks in the brain better than good, and that's how I ended up listing the top ten weirdest names that I could remember. 


Elder - Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Penryn - Angelfall by Susan Ee
Neely - Between the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke
Ignifex - Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Deuce - Enclave by Ann Aguirre



Peeta (Bread) - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Rafe - The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Mare - Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Merit & Honor - Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
Fox - The X Files: Agent of Chaos by Kami Garcia


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
Sunday, May 20, 2018

Weekly Recap: 5/13 - 5/19


TRACY'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi everyone! This week has been extremely... rainy. We've had flood warnings, it looks like the Magic Kingdom keeps getting partially flooded, and it just won't stop! The forecast shows another solid ten days of rain, so hopefully we don't go under! Other than that, things have been uneventful. I've been working on candles, of course, and finishing up Supernatural season 13. I did actually get some reading in, but switching back and forth between books means I didn't actually finish much! XD


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

No new books this week!


THIS WEEK I READ




CHELCIE'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi, everyone!  This week wasn’t super eventful, but I did have to work a ton.  Gotta get that money to support my book buying habit somehow lol.  I did get to take part in my first ever barrel race, and my horse did amazing!  Every run she did she got better and better.  I’m really hoping to have her dialed in by the end of the summer and be able to place in the overall standings.  I also found out that my other horse that I took to Rhode Island is pregnant!!  I’m gonna have a baby horsie next spring!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

   


THIS WEEK I READ

 



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The topic was books I loved ranting about for Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday ARC review of Legendary
On Thursday I shared my Winter and Spring anti-haul
Friday audiobook review of Lair of Dreams
It was a mixed bag this Saturday Screen Time


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday Screen Time #18: Mutants save the day!


Another slow movie week, especially considering I didn't even watch the second half of the first one. I actually spent most of the week finishing up Supernatural season 12, in anticipation of season 13 coming to Netflix very soon! But we're here to talk movies, so without further ado...


THIS WEEK IN SCREEN TIME


The Florida Project - You guys. I tried. So hard. I couldn't do it. Going in, I knew the basic premise of this movie, but I kind of expected, you know, a movie? Instead, I watched 45 minutes of some kids running around different motels and playing. There were some shots of one of the hotel managers talking to people, wrapping up a mattress, and other mundane things, and some scenes of the parents talking to each other and selling perfume to passersby. What I'm trying to tell you is there was absolutely no story whatsoever. It's literally just kids playing. I could go outside and watch kids play in my neighborhood. I understand that this movie was trying to do something different or profound or whatever, but I found it painfully boring. I gave up less than halfway through. This movie is meant for a very specific kind of moviegoer and I definitely do not fit that mold. (1/5 stars)

Deadpool 2 - Thankfully, the week was SAVED by Deadpool 2! While I didn't think it was a perfect films, I will never get tired of how aware these movies are of themselves. The jokes were on point, the cameos were hilarious, and I loved all the new characters! Cable was absolutely fantastic, as were all the new characters. And the end credit scenes were arguably the best part of the entire thing! I cannot wait to see where the next Deadpool movie goes after what happened during the credits. Absolutely go see this if you loved Deadpool. You won't be disappointed! (4.5/5 stars)



Have you seen either of these? What did you think?
What movies have you watched lately?
Let me know in the comments!
Friday, May 18, 2018

Audiobook Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Title: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2)
Author: Libba Bray
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 613
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The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

In this heart-stopping sequel to The Diviners, Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray takes readers deeper into the mystical underbelly of New York City.

Libba Bray does it yet again!  Her writing is absolutely amazing, and I just cannot get enough!  Not only do we get to hear from many characters from the last book, but there are a few new characters tossed in that add so much to this book.

If you love books with a very diverse cast, then you need to pick this one up. We get to see points of view from main characters who are black, Asian, disabled, gay, and Jewish, plus a whole lot more!

We’re thrust back into to roaring 20’s with speakeasies, parties, and fame galore. As each character fights to make their dreams reality, others dreams are literally killing them. With a new villain that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck, these characters are really in for it.

And I have to mention again that this narrator for the audiobook is absolutely superb!  I’m definitely checking out all the books that she’s ever narrated from my library.

I’m so lucky that I jumped into this series a little later on because the first two books were published about three years apart. I have to give all the people that started The Diviners right away props because I never could’ve waited that long for this book to come out. And I’m very happy that the third book is out as well so I can read that one too!

If you have not picked up this series, you NEED to!  I promise that you won’t be disappointed!