Friday, February 22, 2019

Books I'll (Probably) Never Read Book Tag


Happy Friday, everyone! Today I thought I'd do a book tag since it has been quite a while. This one was originally created on BookTube and, no, no one tagged me. Tag yourself! I have a tendency to have unpopular book opinions, so this tag all about what I'm NOT going to read seemed right up my alley!


A REALLY HYPED BOOK YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED IN READING

  

I hate to even go there, but the entire Shadowhunters universe does not interest me in the slightest. I may have honestly been interested once upon a time, but I tried one of the books and couldn't STAND the main character (I can't even remember which). That coupled with my general dislike of the author means the chances of me ever reading any of these insanely hyped series are slim.


A SERIES YOU WON'T START/WON'T BE FINISHING

 

Throne of Glass. I KNOW what you're thinking, but... it's just not for me. I read the first two books in the series and when I found out it branches off into other worlds and introduces tons of other new characters, I just couldn't. The ending of A Court of Wings and Ruin definitely confirmed my decision not to finish it.


A CLASSIC YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED IN

  

Pretty much anything by Jane Austen. I'm sorry! I know that a lot of people adore her books, but I've just never felt any desire whatsoever to dig into them. The classics I love are things like Lord of the Flies or Metamorphosis. My favorite classic romance is Wuthering Heights! I've just never been into the Jane Austen stories. If there's any I might give a chance it's Pride and Prejudice, just so I can figure out what all the Darcy hype is about.


A GENRE YOU NEVER READ

  

Young adult contemporary romance. It just is NOT my thing. If I do stray into the realm of contemporary, it's usually new adult or adult romance. Although I love reading YA fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and others, I just can't deal with the teenage angst and drama when it comes to contemporary. If I do end up reading one there's usually a good reason (like a book club). There are rare exceptions, but it's a genre I avoid like the plague.


A BOOK ON YOUR SHELVES YOU'LL PROBABLY NEVER READ


I had to watch Doctor Zhivago in English class in the 12th grade. That's right, we watched the MOVIE. While I did love the movie, I've never really cared to read the book. It's long and I already know what it's about. The book is on my shelf though.



Do you agree with any of these?
Have I completely disrespected your favorite book?
Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Blog Tour ARC Review: Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Title: Warrior of the Wild
Author: Tricia Levenseller

Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 336
Add to Goodreads


//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//
How do you kill a god?

As her father's chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.

Tricia Levenseller is an author I have heard a ton about but never read before now. Although pirates never really struck my interest, this Viking-inspired book most definitely did! I was intrigued by this female character being tasked to kill the god and couldn't wait to get my hands on this beautiful book!

Rasmira has spent her entire life preparing to lead her village as her father's heir. She's a warrior-in-training and just needs to pass her final trial before being considered a true warrior. When she's betrayed by someone she trusts and her trial is sabotaged, her father has no choice but to banish her and assign an unbeatable task in line with their customs. Banishment is as good as a death sentence because of the dangers of the wilds outside the villages. Unlike many, though, Rasmira doesn't accept that her task isn't one she can complete and sets out fully intending to restore her honor and return to her village.

I. Loved. Rasmira. She was such an incredible, strong heroine and I loved her persistence from the very first page! Although she had moments of doubt, she never let herself be swayed from her goal and always kept fighting. She was fierce and a complete badass and I would love to read a whole series about her adventures!

I also must mention the two incredible side characters of this story, Soren and Iric. Both have managed to survive the wild against all odds and fully intend to live out their lives there, with no plans of attempting their quests. Rasmira befriends them and helps them both to be their best selves and, of course, there's super swoony romance! These three were so wonderful together. Their friendship, even without the romance, was wonderful and refreshing.

But let's talk about the world of this book! I admittedly have not watched Vikings. I don't watch many Viking movies or shows or read many Viking-inspired books, but this absolutely planted me right in the middle of the world and made me feel like I was there. I was especially fascinated by the god's mountain and his lair. I would have perhaps liked to see a little of the wider world. It's true that Warrior of the Wild doesn't span a very large area, but the world we're given is incredible.

This story is unique and action packed and I loved every second of it! There are twists and not all of them are hard to guess, but they're all a lot of fun. Warrior of the Wild has definitely found a spot on my favorites shelf and Tricia Levenseller has made it to my auto buy list. If you're a fan of YA fantasy, badass heroines, and amazing friendships, you don't want to miss this book!



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tricia Levenseller is the author of the Daughter of the Pirate King duology and forthcoming standalone, Warrior of the Wild. She likes to describe her books as young adult alternate–world historical fantasies with heavy romantic subplots.

Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, playing Overwatch with her siblings, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Audiobook Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost #1)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 391
Add to Goodreads


Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. 

You may be wondering how I ended up reading a YA contemporary romance novel since we all know this isn't my normal kind of read. Last month I went to my first ever book club meeting. The first month we read a YA fantasy, which is right up my alley. This month the club selected Letters to the Lost and here we are.

Letters to the Lost is about Juliet, a teenager whose mom died tragically in a car accident on her way home from a work trip. Juliet has always blamed herself for begging her mom to return early and continues to cope by writing letters and leaving them at her mom's grave. One day there's a response to one of her letters and, after a brief period of anger over her privacy being intruded upon, Juliet begins to write to the mysterious person known only as The Dark.

Of course, the mysterious other person is the romantic interest, also known as Declan. Declan has his own issues after his sister died and his father went to jail. Basically, they both have stuff to work through. But Declan has a reputation for being a bad guy at school and that's all Juliet can see him as. As they write to each other anonymously, they being to catch feelings, drama ensues, etc.

Juliet was a great character who was super easy to sympathize with! I could totally understand her actions and how she could blame herself. I can't imagine losing my mom, especially if I felt like it could be my fault in some way. I also understood the difficulty Juliet had with taking up hobbies she'd previously enjoyed. I think the author did a great job of painting a picture of a young girl who was grieving.

Declan was also a sympathetic character, but I did have a hard time with his obvious anger issues and the way that no one seemed to go out of their way to help him work through his issues. I hated the way that he treated people and had no desire to be anything other than what everyone expected. I can understand why he had the anger issues that he did, but I have a difficult time with characters who are so aggressive all the time. I was glad that he was eventually able to let down some walls.

The mystery pen pal storyline was definitely intriguing and I think it's why I was able to enjoy this book when I really am not a fan of contemporary romance. I liked the added level of non-angsty drama and how the anonymous connection allowed two people who would never have been friends get to know each other. I didn't care for how it started to drag out a bit near the end, though.

Although the direction the book ended up going was a bit predictable, I did still enjoy it and I kept listening, wanting to know how things would wrap up. Speaking of which, I really did want there to be a bit more resolution to both these characters' stories. The ending was fine, I guess, but after such a long book, I'd hope for a bit more... something. I did see that there's a second book in the series, but I haven't decided whether to pick it up yet.

Overall, I did enjoy this YA contemporary romance that I never, ever would have read without a book club forcing me to do it. I did find it a bit predictable and drawn out, and I never really fell in love with Declan, although it seems like everyone else swoons over him. Still, if I had to read a contemporary romance, I'm glad it was this one!


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday #227: Underrated favorites


Today's Topic: 
Books I LOVED with Fewer than
2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Hi everyone! This week we're talking about books that are severely underrated. Each of these books are incredible and deserve way more attention than they've gotten. Not surprisingly, there's some horror, some dystopian, and some retellings. Go read them all!



Anyone? by Angela Scott
The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard
Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke
Floor 21 by Jason Luthor
The Merciless IV by Danielle Vega



Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum
Of Dreams and Rust by Sara Fine
Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Stain by A.G. Howard
Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Weekly Recap: 2/10 - 2/16


HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi everyone! This has been a surprisingly good week! I did have quite a bit going on, but I also got a lot accomplished and also met a new puppy friend named Yankee. I'm happy to report that my little guy is still doing really well. It's so nice to be able to say that week after week after such a long time of what seemed like never ending problems. I read some books that were way out of my comfort zone this week. Letters to the Lost was for a book club and Forbidden because everyone keeps recommending it! I'll be sharing my thoughts soon! My Valentine's Day was really low key with some champagne, chocolate, and a rented movie. I'm hoping to finally see Glass in theaters today! Have any of you seen it yet?


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

    


THIS WEEK I READ

 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

On Monday I posted a Book Trading guide
The topic was bookish couples for Top Ten Tuesday
On Thursday there was a book boyfriend face off
Saturday book review of Pandemonium


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, February 16, 2019

Audiobook Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium (Delirium #2)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 375
Add to Goodreads

Review for book 1

The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame. In this electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller Delirium, Lauren Oliver sets Lena on a dangerous course that hurtles through the unregulated Wilds and into the heart of a growing resistance movement. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

I am always, always wary of reading second books. More often than not, they're a real drag and are just filler to get from book one to book three. Thankfully, that did not seem to be the case with Pandemonium, although I am now really concerned about reading the last one since several of you have warned me about it...

Pandemonium is told in a series of flashbacks mixed with present events, which can sometimes be a little confusing. The flashbacks are of Lena's life in the wild with the people who find her after her escape. Alex is gone and these people are her new family, eventually making her a member of the Resistance. I really enjoyed the flashback portion of the book. Getting to see glimpses of the world before the Cure was fascinating and I really wish there was even more information on what happened and how much time has passed.

In the present Lena is living in New York infiltrating a group, the DFA, that is so loyal to the cure that they're willing to sacrifice one of their own. Another group of Invalids is also introduced in this book. Not surprisingly, not everyone living in the wilds or infiltrating the cities is in it for the same reasons. The Scavengers are a much more violent group that Lena and the others in the Resistance want nothing to do with.

I loved Lena in this book, possibly more than in Delirium. She's a strong character who still has major flaws and occasionally makes really dumb decisions. Basically, she's a somewhat believable teenage girl. I loved her relationship with the Invalids she found herself living with, Raven and Tack, and her growth since the beginning of the series.

Something that seems to have divided people over this book is the fact that Lena has a new romantic interest, Julian. I can definitely understand why some people may have an issue with this, can Lena be faulted for moving on from a (very short-term) boyfriend six months after his assumed death? I will say that I didn't love Julian like I loved Alex, but he was fine. I definitely foresee a love triangle in book three.

The ending of Pandemonium was a bit over the top, even for a YA dystopian romance book. I could have done without the melodrama and I would definitely be upset with the cliffhanger if I didn't have immediate access to book three. As it stands, I do, and I'll definitely be continuing the series soon! I really hope the warnings were unwarranted.