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

 

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: United States of Absurdity – Untold Stories From American History

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

Original Release Date:

May 9th 2017

Date I Read The Book:

November 2016

My Star Rating:

4 stars

Chronology:

Standalone book of stories

Official Summary:

Discover illustrated profiles of the weird, outrageous (and true!) tales from American history that don’t appear in school textbooks.

From the creators of the comedy/history podcast “The Dollop,” “The United States of Absurdity” presents short, informative, and hilarious stories of the most outlandish (but true) people, events, and more from United States history. Comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds cover the weird stories you didn’t learn in history class, such as 10-Cent Beer Night, the Jackson Cheese, and the Kentucky Meat Shower, each accompanied by a full-page illustration that brings these historical “milestones” to life in full-color. Adding to the giftable history/comedy package, each story is accompanied by tongue-in-cheek trivia and timelines that help place the stories in context with the more well-known historical events that occurred around them.

My Review: 

I really enjoyed this book. I read it in a single sitting on my kindle when my power went out one day (yay thunderstorms…).

Essentially, this is a book of short, ridiculous, stories from America’s history. The kind that end up in newspapers rather than history books, usually used as footnotes brought back to spotlight. As a Florida resident, born and raised, I have an inordinate fondness for stories of people doing stupid s**t.

Some stories feel a bit flat with me, particularly the sports ones, as I have little interest. Some were stories I already knew, some felt too short and hastily written. But for the most part, they were enjoyable and entertaining, especially to kill time. I particularly loved the chapter of medical stories, even though I knew most if them.

In all, if you like these sorts of “look how badly we f****d up” stories, or want something to make you laugh and teach you some random facts, you’ll like this, especially if you’re a fan of the Darwin Awards.

Netgalley Review: The Adventures of Technicality Man

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

Original Release Date:

December 19th 2016

Date I Read The Book:

April 2017

My Star Rating:

5 Stars

Chronology:

Novella (71 pages)

Official Summary:

Everyone knows how the stories are supposed to go. The good guys win in the end, the hero ends up with the designated love interest, and the plucky band of misfits pulls together to save the world.

But what happens when a villain targets the nature of stories themselves? All the tropes that the heroes have come to rely on are under threat.

Technicality Man and his trusty companion Continuity Leopard must join forces with a group of minor heroes to save the day. They won’t let any barrier stop them. Not even the fourth wall.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

Considering my love of meta/satirical scifi ( as evidenced by my love of  How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe and Redshirts) its no surprise I loved this little novella about the very meta Technicality man and his team saving the very fabric of stories. It is well aware of the tropes in scifi and action stories and uses them vey well – I liked the cats as well, who control the stories continuity and punctuation. Its a very funny, meta story thats great for scifi nerds. The characters and world is surprisingly fleshed out, and the story is well paced and hilarious (throw away reference to gay sex fanfic and everything).

I loved this.

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.

 

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.

 

 

Spring Break Reading Plans

First: It is finally spring break! (At least in Miami-Dade).

Which means I should be able to catch up a bit on reading/blogging/studying as I won’t be in school this week (except yesterday morning, because I took the ACT…)

Second: This is not a TBR. Every time I make a TBR it fails, so this is a plan, not a TBR.

Now on to the reading plans for the week, because I’ve managed to get horrifically behind on both my review TBR and on my Goodreads challenge.


Netgalley books –
(Limited Timeframe To Read Them Because They Are On Adobe Digital Editions)

 

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life – 12 days left

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I loved Aristotle and Dante by this same author, and I’m super excited to finish this one.

Tash Hearts Tolstoy – 53 days left

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I’ve been DYING for this book. And I got approved! I think this will be the first ace protagonist I’ve read about and I’m excited for it.

The Shape of Ideas – 50 days left

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I’ve been on a comics/nonfiction graphic novel kick. This is basically comprised on internet comics, and from what I’ve read so far, its pretty entertaining and quick.

Man Vs. Child – 50 days left

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Another random book I requested on a whim. I am not a parent, not going to be one any time soon. I have no need to read this book. But it looked funny, and I like memoir type books. I also have an issue with over-requesting on Netgalley…

The Comic Book Story of Video Games – 54 days left

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I requested this on a whim because it looked interesting. I play a lot of video games, and I’ve been on a nonfiction graphic novel/comics kick lately. So this seems good.


Netgalley Books –
(On My Kindle)

 

If We Were Villains

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So many people have raved about this that I had to request it – and Netgalley came through! I don’t generally read adult/literary fiction or thrillers/mysteries – I don’t tend to enjoy them. But I’ve been on a villain/criminal kick (leverage, white collar etc.) and this looked too good to pass up. I’m only in the beginning but I’m enjoying it so far.

The Whole Thing Together

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About halfway through this one. I like the writing so far – but I accidentally spoiled myself with it by looking at another review on Goodreads and… Well you know how it goes.

The Love Interest

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I’m nearly done with this one. Literally the only reason I’m not is because at the part I’m on, things got very stressful and I couldn’t deal with it. You can’t just cover your ears for a minute in a book like you can with a movie – which means I start other books… I do really like this on through.

On The Spectrum

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I started reading this the other day (you may have noticed by now, that I have an issue with reading multiple books at once – its a terrible habit). I’m about 10% through it, and I really like it. The characters are really well-developed and the story is engaging so far.


Now, is this past ambitious into insane? Well, yes, yes it is.

Is that going to to stop me? No, no it is not.

Hopefully (if I succeed at least) the reviews for books not yet out will be scheduled for their release dates, and books already released with by scheduled for once a week (I’m working on a new blogging schedule – you’ll see).

Wish me luck!

What are you reading this week?

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!

 

NetGalley Review: Royce Rolls

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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:

Sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce seems to have it all: an actual Bentley, tuition to a fancy private school, lavish vacations, and everything else that comes along with being an LA starlet. But after five seasons on her family’s reality show, Rolling with the Royces, and a lifetime of dealing with her narcissistic sister, Porsche, media-obsessed mother, Mercedes, and somewhat clueless brother, Maybach, Bentley wants out. Luckily for her, without a hook for season six, cancellation is looming and freedom is nigh. With their lifestyle on the brink, however, Bentley’s family starts to crumble, and one thing becomes startlingly clear–without the show, there is no family. And since Bentley loves her family, she has to do the unthinkable–save the show. But when her future brother-in-law’s car goes over a cliff with both Bentley and her sister’s fianc inside-on the day of the big made-for-TV wedding, no less-things get real.
Really real. Like, not reality show real.

Told in a tongue-in-cheek voice that takes a swipe at all things Hollywood, Royce Rolls is a laugh-out-loud funny romp with an LA noir twist about what it means to grow up with the cameras rolling and what really happens behind the scenes.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

This entire book is essentially satire and I loved it!

Mind you, I was unsure of this book, as I am the sort of person who’d arguably rather gouge out my yes than watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Which this book is literally a parody of.

But Royce Rolls is self-aware of that, and makes fun of its self for it essentially. Which means I enjoyed it immensely.

The book is funny and witty, and mixes tropes and parody from a bunch of different reality shows in a way that comments on and makes fun of them.

The book is told in a mix of email/news reports and Bentley’s first person POV. Literally mixed media. The over-arching story keeps you on your toes, and there is twists that I didn’t see coming, I love seeing the way things unfold when you’re not expecting it to be as hardhitting/intelligent as it actually was. It is more than dumb comedy.

The characters and the romances are all great, and I didn’t see the ending coming at all, which was good.

I will say that it got bumped down to 4 stars because the ending felt a bit like it was getting ahead of itself, it confused its own timeline a bit, and didn’t address some of the things it brought up (ex. why a certain someone left home in the first place).

Other than that, I thought it was a fun read. I recommend it!