Netgalley Review: The Shape of Ideas

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

April 18th, 2017

Date I Read The Book:

May 2017

My Star Rating:

4 Stars

Official Summary:

What does an idea look like? And where do they come from? Grant Snider’s illustrations will motivate you to explore these questions, inspire you to come up with your own answers and, like all Gordian knots, prompt even more questions. Whether you are a professional artist or designer, a student pursuing a creative career, a person of faith, someone who likes walks on the beach, or a dreamer who sits on the front porch contemplating life, this collection of one- and two-page comics will provide insight into the joys and frustrations of creativity, inspiration, and process—no matter your age or creative background.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

This is a little graphic novel type book on creativity from the perspective of an artist. Its pretty clever, using different ideas, stereotypes, etc. of art to convey a message. The artwork is really well done with a pretty distinct style that I enjoyed. Some sections were more enjoyable than others, but if you enjoy art or other creative end overs, it may be worth checking out. Its quick to get through and it made me smile.

Netgalley Review: Tash Hearts Tolstoy

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I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

June 6th, 2017

Date I Read The Book:

May 2017

My Star Rating:

5 Stars

Official Summary:

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

I requested an arc of this book for several reasons:
1) a nerdy, smart, bookworm main character,
2) Classic adaptation as a blog series a la Lizzie Bennet Diaries and
3) AN ASEXUAL CHARACTER OH MY GOD.

I haven’t read much classic literature, Tolstoy included, so that didn’t grab me in more than the abstract, unlike some reviewers.

The ace representation did draw me in though. I’m ace (somewhere on the scale not quite sure where) so I was super excited to read a book with an asexual MC because I have never in my life heard of one let along read one.

Let me tell you I was not disappointed!

 To me at least, I thought the representation of asexuality was very realistic. People say stupid things about it, and it feels weird to be different, but at the end of the day, you have the same feelings as everyone else (Tash is asexual but NOT romantic which are often equated when they are NOT the same thing).

The characters are all real (occasionally flawed) people, the character growth is great and I loved it. The friendships were really realistic and I related to Tash so hard!

Plot wise, it was really interesting. YA stories featuring you tubers are particularly common now, but I thought the story of the making of their show was well done. A bit slow at times, but it balanced out.

The writing was good, quick, easy, cute YA reading.

I highly recommend this story!

Netgalley Review: One of Us is Lying

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

May 30th 2017

Date I Read The Book:

March 2017

My Star Rating:

5 Stars

Chronology:

Debut, Standalone

Official Summary:

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

Cover:

I love this cover, with the cut out faces and sharpie it looks like a defaced yearbook and it is great.
Characters:
All the characters are unique, and their voices are distinct. I did find my self most drawn to Bronwyn’s POV but since I relate most to her that’s understandable. I like that they all begin to defy their stereotypes throughout. And that their is diversity sprinkled through without a big deal being made about it. Everyone has different home lives, and not every character is straight and white. I liked he side characters and sibling relationships a lot. And I like that the romances were varied, none the main focus, and nine were instalove or an instant fix to anyone’s problems.
Plot:
There is foreshadowing like crazy and I loved it. The story is fast paced and intriguing all the way through, and lots of little details and side plots for each character really tie it together. I guessed part of the ending before he characters did, but not the whole think, and I like that it was able to surprise me. I had some issues with the legality of some of the police actions and certain things that seemed overlooked by adults irked me, but these were all things addressed later on in the story and it was good.

Top Five Wednesday: Summer Reads

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started, and is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes.
If you want to join in checkout the Goodreads page!


May 17th: Summer Reads
–The weather is heating up (for half of the world), so what books remind you of summer and are your quintessential summer reads?


I’m going with 5 summer-y arcs on my TBR – because I need to get to these this summer…

Also, if I straight up g with summer-y contemporaries, my list will be identical to every other “Unexpected Everything”, Kasie West, and “Since You’ve Been Gone” filled list that are the first summer-y books that come to mind, arguably for many people.


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1 – Hook’s Tale – Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself

by John Leonard Pielmeier

I LOVE retellings. Peter Pan retellings being among my favorites. I also love redeeming villain stories (its a thing, go with it). This combines those two things – apparently its inspired by Wicked…which I have never seen/read/heard in full. But it seems cool none-the-less and I’m excited to read this.


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2 – Song of the Current

by Sarah Tolcser

This is another book featuring ships and the seas. I’ve been on a pirate kick lately, I don’t know. I don’t think this book is directly about pirates, but its about river gods and kickass, ship sailing females (which is close enough to pirates) and seems intriguing so I’m excited.


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3 – The Possible

by Tara Altebrando

Superpowers are just a summer-y thing to me. Probably because all the superhero movies come out in the summer (I’m dying for GotG2 and Spider-man!). I don’t know much about this, it it seems really interesting. I was mostly just hooked by the concept of X-men-like powers.


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4 – Sovereign – Nemesis – Book Two

by April Daniels

I Loved the first book (NetGalley Review – Nemesis #1: Dreadnought) which come out earlier this year. I wasn’t expecting this one to come out so soon, but it comes out this summer and I got approved for an arc on netgalley. I read and loved the first one over winter break (but I was in central america so it was summer!) and I really want to read this, so here it is.


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5 – The Comic Book Story of Video Games – The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution

by Jonathan Hennessey, Jack Mcgowan

Summer is the only time I actually have the time to play video games, and comics in general just seem a summer-y thing. So, there it goes on the summer reads list.


Some Honorable Mentions:

I have two mandatory summer reading books this year – as I’m taking AP English Literature next year school. I have to read Pride & Prejudice and Thousand Splendid Suns.

Netgalley Review: The Love Interest

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

May 16th 2017

Date I Read The Book:

March 2017

My Star Rating:

4/4.5 Stars

Official Summary:

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

When I first requested this book from Netgalley I was expecting a YA version of
“This Means War”. But I was extremely pleased to be wrong.
The Love Interest is essentially a satire of every love triangle YA trope, and it is gloriously aware of that. It also subverts the love triangle in that, our narrator, who is the “Nice Boy” of the love triangle, falls for the “Bad Boy” rather than the girl whose affections they are meant to be competing for.
The romance was impossibly cute. It’s well executed, and doesn’t feel campy. I thought its pacing was good – definitely didn’t feel like instalove. Caden is an adorably awkward, out-of-his-depth narrator, who constantly feel for Dylan’s seduction tactics intended – theoretically – for Juliet. I loved the friendships in the book as well.
The pacing of the book is fast, but well balanced – it stays exciting without getting ahead of itself. The setting remains contemporary, and the romance is of heavy focus, but the book also plays heavily on action tropes and contrived scenes common in YA fiction.
It had its flaws of course, sometimes it felt too caught up in the tropes/satire. Sometimes I got frustrated that, despite everything, Juliet still often felt at times like a plot device, the lack of ability to communicate feelings for most of the book (which plagues most YA) was still present, etc.
There was a specific thing towards the end that bothered me – don’t continued reading this if you don’t want spoilers!
But towards the end, there was this whole “Dylan’s isn’t gay” thing going on that has Caden equivocating on whether he loved Dyl or Juliet and the whole thing was utterly unnecessary, not really used to further the plot, it was just annoying to add drama to an already rushed end.
But over all, I LOVED it. I definitely recommend it.

RiverMoose’s ARC TBR Takedown Read-A-Thon – Sign-Ups

Original Read-A-Thon

RiverMoose’s ARC TBR Takedown Read-A-Thon


Sign-Ups –
May 14th – end of Read-A-Thon (July 31st) 2017

When:
June 1st – July 31st

What:
Read as many arc/review copies off your TBR as you can.


I’m starting this Read-A-Thon because I have an avalanche of arcs to get through (I have an over requesting on Netgalley problem) and I think it’ll motivate me.

I also really love participating in Read-A-Thons, its fun to motivate each other, but most Read-A-Thons are inconveniently timed for me – so I thought by making my own, it would fit my problem and my timing. I figured i’m not the only when, so I’m making a real Read-A-Thon.

What do you think?
Please join me!

All information below!

Leave me a comment down below with a link to your blog if you want to join me!


Rules:

-Each book that counts must be an arc or review copy sent to you by an author, publisher, bookstore or review site like Netgalley.

-Can be ebook or physical or audiobook.

-Any genre.

-Must be reviewed within the Read-A-Thon time frame (or, confirm review written and scheduled for release day).

-Everyone welcome to join.

-Non-review copy/arc reads will only count if you are COMPLETELY caught up on your arc/review copy TBR AND they are backlogged books (out a year +) (Also applies for those who want to participate but don’t have any ARCs).

-Leave a comment on this post to sign up – will edit with masterlist.

-NO REQUESTING NEW ARCS DURING THE READ-A-THON,  IT DEFEATS THE PURPOSE. I mean, if its one you’re dying for I guess I can’t stop you but seriously.


Levels:

Bronze – Less than 10 books

Silver – 10-25 books

Gold – 25-50 books

Platinum – 50+ books


Prizes:

Bronze – Shoutout on my blog. 

Silver – Shoutout on my blog.

Gold – Interview post with all gold bloggers together.

Platinum – Solo interviews / blogger spotlight post.

(Don’t have money for better prizes sorry…)

(Will make participant and winner/prize badges to display on blog)

 


Optional-Challenges:

  • Take a bookstagram worthy photo with/of each completed read
  • Participate In Weekly Topics
  • Weekly wrap-ups and/or review link-ups

Blogging – Weekly Topics

(Optional little challenge – like a short running weekly meme to participate in during the Read-A-Thon)

(Dates are for WEEK OF – can be posted any time during that week for convince/differing blogging schedules sake)

Posts can be combined with weekly wrap-up if preferred.

– June 1st: What ARCs do you currently have? + Top Ten Most Anctipated To Read Arcs

-June 8th: What do you do when you have to DNF or negatively review an arc?

-June 15th : Most disappointing Denials

-June 22nd: Lets Talk Netgalley

-June 29th : When/Why Do You Request Arcs

-July 6th : Explain You Review System/ Review Policy

-July 13th : Bad Reading Habits. Overrequesting, multiple books, etc.

-July 20th : Thoughts on Blog Tours

-July 27th: Advice for newbie book bloggers

-July 31st : Wrap up! How’d you do? Masterlist of reviews done and what arcs do you have left? Should we do this again next year?


 

Masterlist of Participants:

Sam @ RiverMoose-Reads

Hannah @ Quadruple Booked

Book Princess Reviews

Kristi @ The Hidden Staircase

Erika @ The Book’s The Thing

Sam @samslittlecorner

 

Leave me a comment down below with a link to your blog if you want to join me!

If you don’t have a blog, link me your twitter or something.

Netgalley Review: Online Marketing for Busy Authors: A Step-By-Step Guide

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

April 19th 2016

Date I Read The Book:

April 2017

My Star Rating:

4 Stars

Official Summary:

 

If You Want People to Read Your Book,
Writing It Is Only the Beginning
There has truly never been a better time to be an author. For the first time, authors have direct access to the public via the Internet and can create a community eagerly awaiting their book. But where do new authors start? How do they sort through the dizzying range of online options? Where should they spend their time online and what should they be doing?
Enter Fauzia Burke, a digital book marketing pioneer and friend of overwhelmed writers everywhere. She takes authors step-by-step through the process of identifying their unique personal brand, defining their audience, clarifying their aspirations and goals, and setting priorities. She offers advice on designing a successful website, building a mailing list of superfans, blogging, creating an engagement strategy for social media, and more. By following Burke’s expert advice, authors can conquer the Internet and still get their next manuscript in on time. ”

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

I requested this on a whim – I aspire to be an author one day and thought it might be good to read. I skim read it for the most part.

It was through, easy to understand, and packed full of information that was neatly organized and easy to follow.

I’d say it seems pretty useful for a self published author especially.

 

Top 5 Wednesday: LGBTQ+ Reads

 

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started, and is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes
If you want to join in checkout the Goodreads page!


April 19th: Favorite LGBTQ+ Reads
–Talk about your favorite books that feature LGBTQ+ characters or are by LGBTQ+ authors.

(Changing this a bit – spotlighting LGBTQ+ reads I NEED/WANT to read.
– Not comprehensive of course)


Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – 1

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Summary:
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

This book is crazy popular – everyone LOVES it. A movie is being made! I have to read it! And I’m a sucker for cute romances so… I need this in my life.

Anyone want to buddy read this over the summer?
I have the e-book but haven’t gotten to it yet.


The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue – 2

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Summary:
An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

This is one of my most hyped releases for the year. European travels, 18th century (bisexual!) romance. Family dynamics. Pirates! I need this in my life.


They Both Die At The End – 3

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Summary:
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: they’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news is: there’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—an unforgettable day that will change both their lives forever.

I haven’t read ANYTHING by Adam Silvera but I want to read LITERALLY ALL OF THEM. Of all three of his books, this is the one that most intrigues me – I want it.


Peter Darling – 4

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Summary:
Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

This is the least hyped book on this list. I haven’t seen much on it, but I recently added it to goodreads and I really want to read it. Its a Peter Pan retelling featuring  a growing up, trans Peter, and not-so-villainous Hook (a favorite of mine in retellings) and a romance. It has really great reviews too – though not very many.


The Wishing Heart – 5

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Summary:
With a book in her bag and a switchblade in her pocket, Rebel’s been thieving her way through life while hoping for a cure to fix her ailing heart.

But when the bejeweled vase she just tried to hawk turns out to be a jinni’s vessel, Rebel gets lost to her world and dragged within another. Now every magical being in the city wants the vase for himself.

Thrust into a game of cat and mouse in a world she never knew existed, Rebel must use her uncanny skills to find a way to free Anjeline the Wishmaker.

But wishes have consequences. And contracts. Anjeline’s freedom could unravel a love like Rebel has never known, or it could come at the cost of Rebel’s heart…

I received an e-arc of this for a book blog tour from Entangled Teen – its really good so far and features a lesbian romance in a fantasy setting – something far too rare. My tour stop/review is May 13th!


What do you think of my list?

Are any of these on your TBR?

Have you read any? 

What did you think?

Let me know!

Netgalley Review: It’s All Absolutely Fine

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

November 17th 2016

Date I Read The Book:

December 2016

My Star Rating:

4 stars

Chronology:

Standalone /  graphic autobiography

Official Summary:

IT’S ALL ABSOLUTELY FINE is a darkly comic, honest and unapologetic illustrated account of the daily struggles with mental health. Ruby Elliot, aka Rubyetc, is the talent behind the hit tumblr account, ‘Rubyetc’, which has over 210k followers and growing. Taking readers on a journey through the ups and downs of life, the book will encompass everything from anxiety, bipolar disorder and body image to depression and identity, shining a light on very real problems – all framed with Ruby’s trademark humour and originality.

Ruby balances mental health with humour, making serious issues accessible – and very funny. With the superb talent to capture the essence of human emotion (and to make you laugh out loud), this book is as important and necessary as it is entertaining. IT’S ALL ABSOLUTELY FINE will include mostly never-before-seen material, both written and illustrated, and will be an empowering book that will make you laugh, make you think, and make things ok.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

Sorry this review is so late…

Whoops.

This is a pretty great book. It’s an illustrated memoir – it is unflinchingly honest but also sidesplittingly funny.

It is down-to-earth and relatable to nearly everyone, and it a great portrayal of mental illness in the multi-dimensional – good days and bad days.

I recommend it greatly.

 

 

NetGalley Review: Get It Together, Delilah!

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

April 4th, 2017

Date I Read The Book:

January 2017

My Star Rating:

4 stars

Chronology:

Standalone

Official Summary:

A story about falling in love, literally.

Seventeen-year-old Delilah Green wouldn’t have chosen to do her last year of school this way, but she figures it’s working fine. Her dad is on a trip to fix his broken heart after her mom left him for another man, so Del’s managing the family café in his absence. Easy, she thinks. But what about:
– homework and the nasty posse of mean girls making her life hell
– or how one of Del’s best friends won’t stop guilt-tripping her
– and her other best friend is so in love with his tutor he might go to jail for her if Del doesn’t do something

But who cares about any of that really, because above all else, she can’t stop thinking about beautiful Rosa who dances every night across the street until one day Rosa comes in the café door . . .

And if Rosa starts thinking about Del, too, then how in the name of caramel milkshakes will Del get the rest of it together?

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

Delilah is awkward and stubborn and I loved her, even if I wanted to smack her silly for not telling her dad about things and for dropping out of school which made me stressed out FOR HER, despite being a fictional character. Her motivations are real, and she is well developed. All the characters are.

The romance is super cute, and slow going, its very realistic, there is no immediate happily ever after, most of the characters act like idiots very often but by being fallible they are real.

I loved the setting and I loved the story, all the little details brought it to life and I highly recommend it!