Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #108: As I Descended by Robin Talley

Happy Wednesday, fellow book lovers! This week's "can't wait to read" is:

As I Descended
by Robin Talley
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair. 
I had never even heard of this book until I saw Du Livre's review recently and now I can't wait to get a copy! A Shakespeare-inspired story with a haunted school?? Um, absolutely! I'm hoping this one is as good as it looks!

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #110: my pre-blogging TBR

Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Books That Have Been On My TBR Since Before 
I Started Blogging That I STILL Haven't Read Yet

Before I started blogging I read significantly less than I do now. I also didn't really understand Goodreads and got most of my book recommendations from the library so I often came away with a TBR list that was WAY bigger than I could ever finish. (That's really not much different than now, actually.) Here are ten books that I've wanted to read since before I was a blogger but still haven't been able to get to!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Living by Matt de la Peña
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Audiobook review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Narrator: Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Publisher: Broadway Books
Add to Goodreads

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 

I must live under a rock because somehow I made it two and a half years after the release of Gone Girl without seeing a single spoiler. I picked this book up when I got a chance to listen to the audio and expected to be totally blown away by it. Although I didn't know what it was about, I did know that everyone was obsessed with it for awhile and that there was supposed to be a huge twist! The hype was real with this one.

Just in case you also live under a rock, this book is about a woman who goes missing and whose husband does not exactly look innocent in the midst of the search for her. Amy is a New York native who has been dragged to a small town with her husband, Nick, somewhat against her will. Their marriage has been bumpy for awhile and neither of them are as happy as they used to be. Then she disappears.

This story is told from the perspectives of both Nick and Amy, part of it using flashbacks from Amy's diary. From the beginning there's doubt about whether or not Nick is innocent in the disappearance (because it's always the husband) and both narrators are pretty unreliable. Throughout this book I wasn't entirely clear what I felt for the characters. It was obvious who the author was setting me up to sympathize with, but I didn't care for either Nick or Amy at any time during this story. Both irritated me in different ways from page one, but I'm thinking that might have been intentional. Still, it's hard for me to enjoy a book completely when I can't connect to the characters at all.

The most important part of Gone Girl is the story, though. Or at least, that's what I expected to be totally wowed by. I most enjoyed the investigation and trying to figure out what all of the clues meant. Maybe it's because I knew that there was a huge twist coming, but I wasn't that shocked when it actually did come. I can't say I predicted it exactly, but I also kind of saw it coming, even if I wasn't sure what IT was. There were times when I was surprised, but overall I expected a lot more from a book that I only know about BECAUSE it's supposed to be completely mind blowing.

My biggest letdown with Gone Girl was the pacing. I understand the need for flashbacks and I liked the way the story was structured in different parts, but it was incredibly slow. If I hadn't been listening to the audio, I may have given up early on. Both Nick and Amy slowly meander through their narratives discussing minute details of their lives way too often. I don't know why, but I expected a much more quickly paced story with more surprising twists and turns and I definitely wanted at least one character to connect to.

Overall, Gone Girl was just okay for me. I know that a lot of people LOVED it, but unfortunately I just don't think this is the book for me. I did enjoy the story, but I had enough problems with it that I just can't call it a good read.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weekly recap: 6/14 - 6/20

My Super Exciting Life 

Well, this has been an unexpectedly busy week. My brother left on Monday and I expected a fairly relaxed few days, but it was not to be. Instead, my husband and I decided to start house hunting and everything has been a whirlwind ever since! Luckily, I think some of the madness is behind us and hopefully I'll be around the blog a bit more next week! I'm also hoping to visit some new blogs next week, so leave your favorites in the comments and I'll check them out!

I actually did have some time to read this week and was able to finish Stalking Jack the Ripper and Gone Girl! While Gone Girl was not the mind blowing experience I'd expected, I did enjoy it. The next day I watched the movie and definitely didn't like it as much. Has anyone else done both? I spent last night watching Edward Scissorhands for the first time in probably 15 years. I had pretty much forgotten everything about it and the feels!! I. Did. Not. Cry.

New Books


In Case You Missed It

Monday ARC review of A Torch Against the Night
The topic was books set in space for Top Ten Tuesday
On Saturday I discussed when life gets in the way of bookish things

This Week I Read


Upcoming Reviews

I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
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Saturday, August 20, 2016

When life gets in the way of bookish things

Blogging and reading are two of my favorite things. To be honest, they're kind of my life to the point that it's sometimes a little embarrassing.

Anyone: "What are you good at? What are your hobbies? What do you do all day?"

Me: *blank stare* I like books.

Nothing makes me sadder than life getting in the way of my favorite things. My ideal day would include blogging all day, discussing bookish things with all of you, and reading all evening. To be honest, I get days like that every now and then. But unfortunately, life does get in the way more often than not, and lately it has been happening a lot. 

I usually save my personal tidbits for my Weekly Recap, but we're friends, right? In the last couple weeks things have gotten a little hectic. Last week my brother was visiting, which was really fun, but took up a lot of time that I might have spent doing bookish things. Recently, my husband and I decided we wanted to (possibly) buy a house in the very near future, so this week has been almost entirely devoted to house hunting. 

As an avid reader, I feel sad when I can't get in the reading time I'd like. As a blogger, I feel even worse when I'm not able to find time to write posts and comment on all your lovely blogs! Could I have planned ahead and had posts queued in advance? Yep. But... I didn't. 

I feel like we have at least some responsibility as bloggers to post and comment regularly. Some things we can't plan for, obviously, like illness or, you know, deciding to house hunt spur of the moment. I find that when these things come up, I'm basically too overwhelmed to do anything! Should I comment back on recent posts? Or should I queue up new posts? Solution: Sit back and watch the world burn. Neither. After all, I've managed to do this blogging things for a couple years, so I should get a pass every now and then, shouldn't I? 

Better solution: Prepare more material in advance for situations such as this. Over the next couple months I'm expecting more crazy situations to emerge. If house hunting is successful, that will take up quite a bit of time. I also have family visiting in October and am planning on going out of town over the holidays. As a result, I am going to be on the lookout for challenges and setting my own goals to get ahead! 

How do you handle blogging and reading when life rears its ugly head? 
Do you have memes, reviews, or discussions prepared in advance so you don't have to stress? 
Do you know of any challenges to get ahead with scheduling posts? 
Let me know in the comments!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #109: books set in space

Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Five Books Set In Space

I'm not quite sure why, but "space" immediately came to mind when I saw today's topic. I actually don't read that many sci-fi books, so it was pretty easy to put together my top five! All of these have a setting of different ships or planets in outer space and each was a great read!

Alive by Scott Sigler (review)
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (review)
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray (review)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (review)
Winter by Marissa Meyer (review)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
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