Wednesday, November 29, 2017

DNF Mini Review: The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin 
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384
Add to Goodreads

In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer remains one of the most unique and exciting YA series I've read in my (not so many) years of reading YA books. I binged the series all at once and loved it, including Noah Shaw! Who doesn't love Noah Shaw, honestly? He's the perfect bad boy book boyfriend, so of course I was just as excited as the rest of the Mara Dyer fans when his very own book was announced. Sadly, it just didn't do it for me.

I'm not quite sure what happened between The Retribution of Mara Dyer and The Becoming of Noah Shaw, but I'm not even sure these were written by the same person. I thought I'd love reading a series from Noah's point of view, but I ended up being bored to tears. The characters, including Mara, were painful to read. Mara seemed like a totally different character in this book than in her own series and I found myself no longer caring much about her. The new characters introduced were utterly forgettable. I stopped reading at 50% and I couldn't have told you who any of them actually were.

Also immensely disappointing was the complete lack of plot. Noah and Co. plodded along with no clear destination. There were a couple of interesting ideas thrown in, but they didn't go anywhere in the first half of the book and I couldn't make myself care enough to continue reading.

I don't think I've been this disappointed in an anticipated this year. I know by the reviews that I'm not the only one who feels this way so I can only hope that Michelle Hodkin steps up the Noah Shaw game in book two, although I doubt I could be persuaded to give this one another chance.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #164: Winter TBR

Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

These are my favorite lists because there are always so many great options! This Winter there are a ton of books I'm excited to read, but these ten are my top picks. My most anticipated are Shadowsong and The Hazelwood and I can't wait get to them!  

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Beloved Wild by Melissa Ostrom
Everless by Sara Holland
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weekly Recap: 11/19 - 11/25


Hi, everyone! I hope everyone who celebrated had a great Thanksgiving! I had dinner with friends and then continued the Buffy rewatch. I got a little Black Friday shopping done (online, of course) and came away with a Christmas tree and decorations as well as a few movies that I can't wait to watch! My puppy is much better this week and now we're on to tackling my oldest dog's allergies, starting with extremely expensive food, so yay for that. This week the tree will be going up and I'M SO EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS!






Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (For those of you that celebrate.) I've been away with my boyfriend's family for the entire holiday, and it has been lovely. I have seen four hockey games (mostly kids' games, but one NHL game) and I have done a LOT of eating and drinking. When you are reading this, I will be in the middle of a very long drive home, which means I will probably be miserable. I don't do well with long car rides. But I am looking forward to being back in my own bed with my kitties. Did you do any Black Friday shopping? I really hate crowds and I had three hockey games on Friday, so I didn't do any real shopping. I did buy a few things online, and they have all already shipped. I'm pretty impressed with the small business I ordered from. I hope you had a great weekend and have a smooth transition back into your normal week!


No new books this week!


No books read this week!


I featured Shadowsong for Can't-Wait Wendesday
On Thursday I did the Thanksgiving Book Tag
On Saturday I finished phase one of The Great Marvel Rewatch



We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday Screentime #4: The Great Marvel Rewatch of 2017: Phase One

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Marvel movies! I will drop everything and delay my dog's neuter surgery by a week to see the new Thor movie on opening night. When Thor: Ragnarok tickets went on sale I decided to do a full rewatch of the Marvel (movie) universe. I didn't make it all the way through before I saw Thor, but I'm still slowly working through and maybe I'll finish in time for Black Panther!

Captain America is forever my favorite of the Marvel superheroes, but man this movie is hard to watch. Maybe it's because I've seen it 70000 times or maybe it's just because it's so boring. I love Cap's origin story and I love Bucky, but Red Skull is one of my least favorite villains ever.

I hadn't watched Iron Man since it first came out and I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it! I've never necessarily disliked Tony Stark, but he's definitely never been a favorite. I loved Iron Man's backstory. Seeing his character growth from beginning to end was really fantastic! He wasn't quite as irritating as I remember him being.

And... there it is. That's the Iron Man I remember. I think it must've been Iron Man 2 that convinced me that I hated his movies. The villain(s?) in this movie was pretty terrible and I have to admit I zoned out through a lot of it. Here's hoping I didn't miss any really important references.

I just realized I grabbed a poster in a foreign language. Oh well! I had actually never seen The Incredible Hulk before. I hated the 2003 Hulk so much that I never gave this one a chance. When I realized it was part of the official MCU I figured it was time to give it a chance and it actually wasn't terrible! While I prefer Mark Ruffalo's Hulk, I really enjoyed the backstory and character building in this movie.

Well, I already knew I loved this movie. I've watched it more than a couple times and it never gets old. I absolutely adore watching Thor get taken down a peg and learning some humility. The awkwardness between Thor, Jane, and co. never gets old. And of course there's Loki! I would 100% watch an entire Loki movie.

THE AVENGERS!!! I'm going to admit, this used to be my absolute favorite Avengers movie, but a couple have topped it on my list (more on those later). Although I loved Loki in Thor, this is where I he solidified his place as one of my favorite characters. And of course I loved seeing all of the Avengers working together! I'll never not love Cap and Iron Man bickering!

Are you a Marvel fan? Which Avenger is your favorite?
Let me know in the comments!
Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Book Tag

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are celebrating! I wanted to do something fun and this tag fit the bill. I found this book tag on The Sassy Geek, but it was originally created by Erin & Becca on Youtube! As always, I tag anyone who would like to participate!

BREAD - What book is purely fluff, and has no real plot line?

I had such a hard time with this one because when I think "fluff" I think contemporary and I don't read contemporary. This is the closest I could come! The plot was nothing like I thought it was going to be and turned out to be a lot fluffier than expected.

TURKEY - What book made you want to fall asleep?

I literally could not stay awake trying to read this book, sadly. Stay tuned for the review tomorrow!

GRAVY - What book makes the whole series worth reading?

I loved book one and didn't care much for book three, but A Court of Mist and Fury makes this whole series worth reading more than once!

STUFFING - What book is stuffed full of action scenes?

This book is action-packed from beginning to end and it is SO good! I really need to read the final book in this series, but I don't want it to be over!

MASHED POTATOES - What book looked good, and then wasn’t?

I expected to love this book! It's right up my alley. I love retellings and I LOVE Beauty and the Beast! Sadly, this book was just a big ol' load of disappointment.

CRANBERRIES - What book has the sweetest romance?

I loved this book so much and the romance was sickeningly sweet and adorable! I need to read it again!

CORN - What’s the corniest book you’ve ever read?

Y'all are going to hate me for this one, but the romance in this book was pure instalove corn.

GREEN BEANS - What book is too long and needs to be shortened?

If ever there was a book that was too long, Renegades is it. This book could easily be cut in half and still accomplish the same thing.

PUMPKIN PIE - What book do you read to get out of a reading slump?

The entire Harry Potter series! I slowly re-read through them during slumps.

DOG/CAT - What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food that you would steal from the table?

Sweet potato casserole! My dad makes it every year and I LOVE IT!

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!
Let me know what you're eating today in the comments!
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday #17: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

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

by S. Jae-Jones
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

I can't believe I haven't featured Shadowsong before now! It is easily my most anticipated book of 2018. I'm hoping to get my hands on a copy very soon and seriously hoping it doesn't disappoint!

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Wishful Endings.
This meme is based on Waiting-on Wednesday, which went inactive last year.
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Weekly Recap: 11/12 - 11/18


Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you're all enjoying your weekend! My week began with another trip to the vet where it was confirmed that my little guy had a fever after his surgery. He's spent the week on two antibiotics and has also been put on an allergy medicine to see if it makes a difference in his cough! We will figure this out eventually! In case you hadn't noticed, this hasn't been the best posting week. I've been so preoccupied with this dog that I really haven't had much time to focus on blogging. Hopefully now that he's on the other side I'll be able to get back to it! This week has continued the Buffy rewatch and I'm not mid-season 6. I've decided to continue with the season 8 comics after I'm finished and I'm so excited to break into new Buffy territory!





Hi, everyone! After my super busy weekend last week, I was pretty much a lazy lump this week. I was super unproductive and I barely read. I needed a few days of peace and quiet because I am off on another adventure this week. I have a LOT of reading to catch up on by the end of this month, so I am trying to get as much done before Thanksgiving as possible. I love Thanksgiving so much, so I can't wait for it to get here! Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!


No new books this week!


No books read this week!


Monday ARC review of Renegades
The topic was books I want my niece to read for Top Ten Tuesday
Thursday ARC review of The Bone Witch



We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, November 16, 2017

ARC Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publication Date: March 17, 2017
Publisher: Sourcefire Books
Pages: 411
Add to Goodreads

//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

Tea comes from a magical family. All of her sisters are witches. But when Tea accidentally raises her brother, Fox, from the dead, she realizes that her magic is nothing like that of her sisters. She is a bone witch, and she is feared and shunned for her powers. Finally, under the guidance of another bone witch, Tea gains an education and learns to harness her powers of darkness.

I don't even have the words to describe how much I enjoyed The Bone Witch. This book is absolutely fantastic. I can't believe it took me so long to pick it up. Anything I say about this book will sound like it was written by a child compared to the eloquence of this book, but I will try.

The best thing about The Bone Witch by far was the writing style. The writing is dark and lyrical and you can easily find yourself completely lost in the story. The characters were described with such detail that they jumped off the page and felt real. While the book does jump right into the story without much initial introduction to the world, as the story continued, I found that I could clearly picture every aspect of it. If you like lyrical and descriptive stories, you will be salivating over The Bone Witch. If you want a lot of action in your books, you will not find it here. But it is very much worth the read anyway.

Stylistically, The Bone Witch reminded me of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (another absolutely fantastic read, by the way). The story is told in alternating perspectives - from Tea, as she recounts the past five years of her life as a bone witch, and from the man who is interviewing her for her story. The plot moves slowly through Tea's education, but details about her from the perspective of the interviewer are interspersed throughout the book, leaving the reader wondering how this young girl became such a powerful dark witch. I assumed that the remaining books in this series will continue in the same format, until Tea's tale of her past finally intersects with the interviewer's notes on the present.

The twist at the end of this book was spectacular. I seriously cannot wait for the next book to be released so I can devour it. I was hooked from the first page of The Bone Witch and I want to be back in that world so badly. You will not find a lot of action, adventure, or romance in this book, but it is so beautiful that you have to give it a try. It will be so worth it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #163: Books I want my niece to read

Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Books I Want My Niece to Read

I love this week's topic because I happen to have a 10-year-old niece who actually enjoys reading! I started her on the Magic Treehouse books, but I fear she's outgrown them. I've been slowly buying her the Harry Potter series and I believe she's enjoying it (I think?)! These are ten books that I either enjoyed around her age or have loved recently and think she'd like now!  

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Monday, November 13, 2017

ARC Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Title: Renegades
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 576

Add to Goodreads

//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

If you've followed my reviews for awhile, then you know I love Marissa Meyer! The Lunar Chronicles was one of the first YA series that I followed from beginning to end and Heartless is easily in my top five retellings. Combine my love of this author with my love of superhero movies (okay, really just Marvel movies) and I was SO excited when I heard about Renegades! Unfortunately, it turned out to be a little bit of a letdown.

Renegades is a heroes versus villains story. Nova is an anarchist, one of the villains, and has good reasons for being one. Not only was she born into it, but the Renegades failed her as a child when she needed them most. Adrian is a Renegade, also by birthright. I really loved both of these characters! I could totally sympathize with Nova's reasons for seeking vengeance and wanted to see her succeed. At the same time, I really loved Adrian's sense of moral duty, which could have easily been annoying but never reached that level, thankfully. And for you romance haters, there really isn't much here to annoy you!

I also did enjoy the other heroes and villains, but thought that everyone aside from the main characters was kind of over-the-top one dimensional. Everyone was super good or super evil and there wasn't much in between. For a story set in a world similar to our own, I wish the secondary characters had been a bit more believable.

Speaking of the world, I wish there had been more to it. Everything in Renegades is confined to one city and, although other cities are briefly mentioned, I never felt like I had a good idea about the world and how it came to be in its current state. Reading this book kind of felt like playing a closed world video game, to be honest. I know that Marissa Meyer is capable of incredible world building and I really hope she shows us a bit more of this world in future books because it has potential to be amazing!

Like the characters, the plot was pretty bland and predictable. Villain seeks revenge, villain finds out not everything is black and white. Honestly, the story wasn't terrible, but I think it suffered from being way, way too drawn out. Renegades could have been about 250 pages shorter and still have accomplished everything that happened in the story. A major problem I had with this book is that, while the world isn't very description-heavy, everything else is way too drawn out. Details I didn't care to know are included while details that could've made the story better were left out.

Overall, I thought Renegades was just okay, and maybe that's because I had such high expectations. The main characters were fantastic and the story was interesting, but the pacing was unbearably slow and the world building left a lot to be desired. There was also a ridiculous cliffhanger at the end that I'm sure a lot of people would hate! I'll probably wait until the audiobook is available for Renegades 2. I'm still interested to see how the story continues.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Weekly Recap: 11/5 - 11/11


Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you all had a better week than I! My week started off fine, but my puppy was neutered on Thursday and it has been quite an experience. He's not quite a normal puppy as it is, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he has been chasing his tail ever since he came back home. The vet says she has no idea why he would do that except (possibly) pain, but she's never seen it before. Leave it to my dog! Since I've had to stay close to him for the last few days, I've been having an epic Buffy rewatch! I'm in the middle of season four and I have to say, this is my favorite by far. Is it just me or did everyone get funnier? Between this scene and this one I was laughing so hard I cried! XD I know some people think Spike ruined the show but he's honestly my favorite!




Nothing read this week!


Hi, everyone! I had to write this recap early this week because I have a jam-packed week. So who knows what I am actually doing when you read this. I'm off to a competition this week, then spending some time with my boyfriend's family. I have a baby shower to go to, and a stop in New York City to meet up with people as well. I'm going to be going nonstop, and I'm already tired just thinking about it. But it should be a really fun weekend! After my great reading week last week, this week was a bit of a failure. I only picked up one book, and decided to give up about a third of the way through. Oh well. Hopefully I can pick up something great next week. Have a good weekend!


No new books this week!



On Sunday I had a stop on the Renegades blog tour
The topic was great literary leaders for Top Ten Tuesday
On Wednesday I shared the Dystopia Challenge November link-up
Thursday book review of This Monstrous Thing



We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!