Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #111: Best books school forced me to read

Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Five Books That 
School Forced Me To Read

Like everyone else, I hated assigned reading in school. I don't know why most teachers felt the need to force us to read the most boring books ever written, but there were a few times they picked something really interesting (that I thought I would hate at the time)!

Guests of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Wuthering Heights by Emile Brontë

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Monday, August 29, 2016

Audiobook review: The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

Title: The Wolf Road
Author: Beth Lewis
Narrator: Amy McFadden
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Crown
Add to Goodreads

True Grit meets The Road in this postapocalyptic psychological thriller--narrated by a young girl who has just learned that her adopted father may be a serial killer, and that she may be his next victim.

In the remote wilds of a ravaged land, Elka has been raised by a man who isn't her father. Since finding her wandering in the woods when she was seven, he has taught her how to hunt, shoot, set snares and start fires--everything she needs to survive. All she knows of the world outside is gleaned from whispers of a cataclysmic event that turned the clock back on civilization by a hundred and fifty years and reduced governments and technology to shambles, leaving men at the mercy of the elements--and each other.

Everything changes when Elka learns that the man she has been calling father is harboring a terrible secret. Armed with nothing but her knife and her wiles, she decides to escape his clutches and sets out on a long journey to the frozen north in the hope of finding her long-lost parents.

But as the trail of blood and bodies grows in her path, Elka realizes that daddy won't be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she's going to survive, she'll have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about what he's turned her into.

The Wolf Road was recommended to me by a friend on Goodreads because I love, LOVE post-apocalyptic survival stories. Although the True Grit comparison did scare me a little bit at first, I was really excited to jump into this book and find out more about the characters and world this author had created.

Elka is a terribly unreliable narrator and she isn't especially likable, although she does become easier to sympathize with as the book progresses. Orphaned at a young age, she was found and raised by Trapper, a man she met in the forest who taught her everything she knows. She knows how to hunt and survive in the woods and avoid people. Trapper is her entire life and is the only person she knows how to interact with, so whenever she has to go on the run her life is turned upside down, especially when she realizes she's the one being hunted now.

Although Elka isn't my favorite protagonist of all time, I think it's fair to point out that her character development is some of the best I've seen. At the beginning of The Wolf Road, she doesn't even know what her real name is and doesn't want anything to do with anyone other than herself and her wolf. Without giving away anything, by the end Elka has come to an incredible amount of realizations about herself and Trapper, causing her to completely reevaluate her life and everything she has ever experienced.

The story itself was nothing like what I expected. Although this is marketed as post-apocalyptic fiction, there is really not much to set it apart from any other survival story. Apart from the occasional reference to the "Damn Stupid," which apparently sent the world (or at least the country) into chaos, what I assume were tornadoes called "thunderheads," there wasn't anything that made this feel like post-apocalyptic fiction. Instead of feeling like I was reading a book set sometime in a post-apocalyptic future, it felt like stepping back in time. It honestly seems like the post-apocalyptic bits could have been added in as an afterthought for marketing reasons.

Another issue I had with The Wolf Road was the pace - it was incredibly slow. Elka's journey was interesting, but the majority of the book consists of her walking through the woods, hunting, and talking to a wolf. It does pick up towards the end, but this was one that I definitely would not have made it through if I hadn't been listening to the audio. The unraveling of the mystery of Elka's past was fascinating and I saw it through to the end to see what the big twist would be, but I expected a much faster pace from this story.

I honestly expected to love this book, but I was not expecting a Western. I did enjoy the mystery and the thrill of what would happen between Elka and Trapper! I also really liked watching as Elka grew as a person and (obviously) I loved the wolf! Unfortunately, I was expecting more of a post-apocalyptic thriller and just couldn't love this book in the end.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Weekly Recap: 8/22 - 8/27

My Super Exciting Life 

This week has been a little bit hectic, but I've also had a little time for fun! The house drama continues, but the good news is we're over the first hurdle and now we're to the hurry up and wait portion. My fingers are crossed that everything goes smoothly from here on out! Other than that I've worked a little, played with some dogs a little, and read a little. It hasn't been too bad!

I've spent some time this week catching up on Bachelor In Paradise! (Don't judge me.) Does anyone else watch? Because honestly, #danielforpresident. I also watched the first episode of Stranger Things after seeing everyone go on and ON about how amazing it was, but I wasn't terribly impressed... I think I might give it one more episode to decide if I really want to continue, but I'm not sold yet.

My favorite book of the week was Beast by Brie Spangler (review to come)! If you haven't heard about this book, I definitely recommend it! Unfortunately, as with many great books, I am now suffering from a book hangover and cannot get into anything. Hopefully it doesn't last long this time!

New Books



In Case You Missed It

Monday audiobook review of Gone Girl
The topic was my pre-blogging TBR for Top Ten Tuesday
I featured As I Descended for Waiting on Wednesday
On Friday I shared 5 times I shouldn't have judged by the cover
On Saturday I discussed #booksfortrade entitlement

This Week I Read

Upcoming Reviews

I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, August 27, 2016

#booksfortrade entitlement (and why it's a problem)

I have been planning to do a post on this topic for a little while now, but had actually been saving it for next Wednesday. I'm sure I'll wish I had some original content to post when next week gets here, but it seems like now is a very relevant time for this discussion. 

What is #booksfortrade?

Let me start with quick breakdown for those of you who might not be familiar with this hashtag! On Twitter there is a group of avid readers (mostly bloggers) who are almost constantly looking to swap books.

Some bloggers are trading ARCs, some trade finished copies, and some will even give books away for the price of shipping. Often (but not always), a wishlist is posted with the books that are for trade. Sometimes traders are willing to accept books that aren't on their wishlist, but many times only specific books will be accepted, especially in the case of very rare advance copies.

It's a good system! I've met a lot of really great people (and some not-so-great ones) and have made several really amazing trades! We help each other complete collections and a few are lucky enough to find those incredible ARCs that we're all dying to read! Many of us even keep an eye out for things that we know others are on the hunt for.

So why the post? 

Lately I have noticed a trend. People are using the #booksfortrade hashtag more and more to complain about what they are unable to get, rather than using it to search for things they can trade for. There have been a couple blog posts about this recently, which can be found by going to the tag on Twitter.

The main complaint seems to be that some traders are too stingy with the ARCs they're looking to trade. Certain users of the tag find the whole process disheartening and give up when they aren't able to get a coveted upcoming release or rare ARC. According to some, if a trade post is made, the original poster should be more open to books other than what's on their wishlist since they are looking to get rid of the books anyway. That seems reasonable, right?

Why I don't see it that way

Brittany's Book Rambles
I'll make my case with an example. There are a few ARCs that I really, REALLY want. (We call these unicorns.) Specifically, I would do just about anything to own the Grisha Trilogy ARCs.

Over the last few months I have seen people post these for trade. Do I actually expect to be able to get one of these with the books I have to trade? No, absolutely not!

While I do gaze longingly on the books I would love to have, I would never hold it against someone for not trading them to me. If someone posts these books, they are probably looking for something very specific and would only trade for that specific thing. I have absolutely no problem with that.

At the end of the day, someone else's property is not my property and being angry that someone won't give me something they own makes no sense at all. Yes, ARCs are free. But chances are, no one just walked up to that blogger and handed them a pile of books. They probably had to work for them (or spend a lot of money on a convention).

No one is entitled to ARCs

I do not see an issue with not trading for something you don't want. I have seen post after post about people being too picky. People feel that the owner of the book should be lenient about what they will accept. After all, people WANT the books they're trading!

Here's the thing: "I want it" is not a reason for someone to give you something they've (probably) worked hard to come by.

ARCs are hard to get. I never had anything worth trading until I finally got to attend ALA, over two years after Cornerfolds first came online. And here's a secret: I STILL don't normally get ARCs in the mail from publishers! I went to ALA, had the opportunity to get some cool things, read and reviewed the cool things, was lucky enough to make a couple great trades, and now I'm back to gazing from afar until the next time I get the chance to attend one of these events.

Things I will not do until then: harass people to give me ARCs because I want them.

Why this is a problem

Maybe you're thinking that this whole post is just one big rant, and maybe it is partially that, but there's something important I want to get to.

The people that have the super rare ARCs that you (and I) want have been working in the blogisphere for a long time, probably much longer than I have. Maybe you don't think it's fair that they have the books that you want, but what really isn't fair is putting them on blast for not passing them out like candy. The constant rants about how people are too stingy or won't trade even though they know you WANT IT SO BAD are unfair and they're making people uncomfortable.

Everyone has their unicorn. Most bloggers want to read books before they're unleashed on the world because we know about them before most other people do. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way and it's ridiculous to publicly shame people. Luckily for everyone, all of these books will be released soon and we can all read them together then.

#booksfortrade is amazing

The overwhelming majority of traders have great experiences with #booksfortrade! Every single day you can see people thanking each other for incredible, successful trades all over the world. It's unfortunate that some people think so poorly of the group of people that have made the tag so great!

Do you use #booksfortrade? Have you had a good or bad experience?
Let me know in the comments!
Friday, August 26, 2016

Five times I shouldn't have judged by the cover

Confession: I absolutely pick books based on their covers.

Most of the time if a book is gorgeous it is 90% more likely that I will pick it up, even if the title is ridiculous. If the synopsis of a book doesn't catch my attention, the cover is the saving grace. We all know the phrase "never judge a book by its cover," and I'm thinking there's good reason for this. One too many times I have been deceived by book covers. Here are five covers that have duped me over the last couple years:

I'm honestly not sure what is even happening with this cover because it really doesn't have anything to do with this book. Then again, neither does the title, really. When you consider that the cover of this book used to look like this, it becomes very obvious that this was just a marketing ploy. I mean, it does look very, very like The Selection series covers, doesn't it? While the girl in a fancy dress certainly makes The Siren instantly recognizable as the work of Kiera Cass, it's unfortunate that it's so completely removed from the actual (albeit awful) plot.

Asylum... how I wanted to love thee. This book caught my attention for obvious reasons. It looks horrifying! In case you didn't know, I am a horror junkie and I'm always on the lookout for a book that will scare me so bad that I can't sleep at night. I haven't found it yet, but this cover made me think I would at least get a few chills. Instead, it ended up being a very young YA book about a boy who really wanted a girl to be into him. This was honestly closer to middle grade mystery than YA horror.

This one is partly my fault and partly the fault of a vague synopsis. Based on the cover and the little I knew about this book, I expected the story to be all about the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the greatest maritime tragedy in history. While it may be morbid, I enjoy reading shipwreck and disaster novels, so I really expected to love this one! What I didn't realize was that Salt to the Sea was much more about the journey to the ship than the shipwreck itself and I'm really glad it was. There's no way I would have been able to connect to the characters at the same level had this just been about a ship sinking. +1 for vague synopses!

Well, this cover has a ton of issues that I found out about after I read Across the Universe, mostly having to do with the male main character, but I won't go into those. I don't know what exactly I was expecting based on this cover, but I can tell you that I definitely thought I'd be getting a romance of epic proportions! Instead I ended up reading a book about a creeptastic, borderline stalker relationship between a girl who has no idea what is going on and a guy who is keeping her in the dark for his own selfish reasons. I guess some people were really into this romance but I definitely find the cover and description to be misleading.

Here is yet another book with a cover far more scary than the contents. I mean seriously, I had to take the dust jacket off a couple times and put it up because it was giving me the creeps! I thought I was going to be absolutely terrified reading the short stories in Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, but... nope. Although many of the stories were still really good, most of them were unsettling or creepy at best. Listen publishers! If you're going to slap on a cover that gives me nightmares, please make sure the stories on the inside live up to it!

I showed you mine, now show me yours! 
Which book covers have deceived you for better or worse? 
Let me know in the comments!
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.
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.
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.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weekly recap: 8/14 - 8/20

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!
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!

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.
Monday, August 15, 2016

ARC Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Title: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 464
Add to Goodreads
Reviews for book 1 and book 3

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

An Ember in the Ashes was one of my top five reads of 2015 and, if you read it, you know that I was basically dying to get A Torch Against the Night for the last year! I got the opportunity to read an advanced copy and snatched it up in a hurry, fully expecting to be totally blown away by this second installment.

A Torch Against the Night picks up right where Ember left off, with Laia and Elias on the run from the Empire and on a mission to save Laia's brother. Helene receives a prominent position next to Marcus and must decide whether her loyalty is to the Empire or to Elias, who has essentially left her for Laia. These three characters are the focus of the story with alternating points of view between them. I've seen people talk about how different the characters were in this book, but I can't say I really saw that. Laia is forced to become more of a badass out of necessity and Elias has to change his approaches for his own reasons as well, but I felt these were realistic changes based on circumstances. At the end of it all, I still absolutely adore Elias!

I also really enjoyed reading chapters from Helene's perspective, although I did roll my eyes at first. I didn't love her in book one, but after Torch, she is one of my new favorite characters! Her struggle was real and I felt so much sympathy for her as she tried to decide which side she was on. I can't wait to see where her story goes!

The villain(s) in A Torch Against the Night are, frankly, terrifying! And yes, there are several of them, although they all seem to be working together. Of course, the Commandant and Marcus are the two most obvious baddies in this story and I won't ruin the rest for you. These two are peas in a pod and are both unsettlingly despicable. There is literally nothing they won't do for power over the Empire and beyond and I love it because I never felt that the characters were quite safe enough for me to relax.

Then there was the romance... In An Ember in the Ashes, there was a hint of a love triangle with Keenan, but it seemed to be squashed by the end. If you want to keep believing that, skip this book! Because Keenan is back and so is the triangle. Honestly, this is one of the things I was most confused about with A Torch Against the Night. It seemed pretty straightforward at the end of Ember! I love angst as much as the next person, but the whole tortured affair between Laia and Elias had me wanting to bang my head into a wall and then when Keenan showed up, I wanted to throw myself through the window. But I trudged on. And yes, it was worth it, but I'm still bitter about the romance.

The story, while action packed, was slow for me at times. It took me much longer to read this book than I thought it would. The beginning was exciting and so was the ending, but a lot of the middle was traveling and talking and I'll admit I was bored. There were a lot of new developments in Torch and it actually went off in a much different direction than I'd anticipated! Although I wasn't expecting it, I really ended up loving where it went! There were a couple big twists that I really didn't see coming, which is one of my favorite things in fiction! I love being taken totally by surprise and Sabaa Tahir totally shocked me on more than one occasion!

The world of A Torch Against the Night was even more impressive than that of Ember! I loved learning more about the tribes and getting to spend a decent amount of time with them. Although this book was A LOT of traveling across different terrains, the upside was reading the amazing descriptions and feeling like I was there. One forest in particular was just amazing and I'm anticipating reading a lot more about it book three! And of course there was Kauf Prison itself. As terrifying as it was, it was fascinating.

A Torch Against the Night was easily one of my most anticipated reads of 2016 and I was so glad I got to read it early! I did enjoy it a lot, but I have to say this was not as perfect for me as An Ember in the Ashes. There was a lot of lag in the middle and I didn't love the love triangle, but it was still a solid second book! (I enjoyed it enough that my copy is still on pre-order.) The ending was incredible and, of course, here I am waiting for another year to find out where the story goes. If you loved An Ember in the Ashes, chances are you'll really like this one too!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Weekly Recap: 8/7 - 8/13

My Super Exciting Life 

My brother visited this week and I accomplished basically nothing as far as my bookish life is concerned... whoops! I started reading a couple books and am currently working my way through Stalking Jack the Ripper. I had to put The Beauty of Darkness down for awhile when it started to lag, but I'll pick it back up after I finish this one! I also finally started Gone Girl!

What I lacked in blogging this week, I made up in doing stuff! My brother got in on Monday and all week we've been roaming around Orlando. On Wednesday we went to Universal Studios and had a great day riding coasters and wandering around Diagon Alley! We had lunch at the Leaky Cauldron, complete with Butterbeer. Yesterday we spent half the day at Disney's Blizzard Beach water park. I hadn't been to a water park since 2009 and wasn't sure I'd enjoy it, but we had a lot of fun! (I kept my eyes closed on Summit Plummet.) He also made me watch The Princess Bride for the first time. I was skeptical, but I liked it!

New Books

ARC Trades:


In Case You Missed It

Monday audiobook review of My Lady Jane
The topic was books I wish I'd read as a kid for Top Ten Tuesday
I featured Wintersong for Waiting on Wednesday
Friday book review of Jane Steele

Upcoming Reviews

I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!