Stacking the Shelves [36]

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Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books that you buy in a physical store or online, books your borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks.

——

Physical:
Bought:
Twin Star Exorcists: Onmyoji, Vol. 1 by Yoshiaki Sukeno
Twin Star Exorcists: Onmyoji, Vol. 2 by Yoshiaki Sukeno
Twin Star Exorcists: Onmyoji, Vol. 3 by Yoshiaki Sukeno

 

Exchange:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Bangkok 8 (Songhai Jitpleecheep #1) by John Burdett
Adventure Divas: Searching the Globe for Women Who Are Changing the World by Holly Morris

Library:
The Ancient Magus Bride, Vol. 1 by Kore Yamazaki
Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles #2) by Gena Schowalter

 

Ebooks:
For Review:
Lost in Wonderland (The Twisted and the Brave #1) by Nicky Peacock

 

301175231

 

Apparently I had quite the haul this week!  That’s kinda exciting! What did you all find??  Happy weekend!!!

ARC August…Let’s Give It A Shot

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So, this is actually perfect timing for me for ARC August.  The lovely ladies at Read.Sleep.Repeat are hosting the 4th annual ARC August.  Also, this is the second month I’m doing a TBR, which is CRAZY because TBRs aren’t really my thing

Now, I have accumulated more ARCs that I would care to admit but I am slowly working my way through them.  This could, hopefully, help me get a move on and finish at least some before all of them are out!

Confession: I have several older ones that I honestly forgot about until I did a revamp of what I had and it’s kinda ridiculous…and I’m quite ashamed. *runs away with tail between legs* (Also, I’m a wolf).

Anyways, these are the books I’m hoping to get read in August:

 

I’m super excited because I’ll also have a surprise for you all later on this month and it has to do with one of the books listed above!!!!  So, be EXCITED!!!  Ok, I’ll stop with the explanation points.

What do you guys planning on reading?

Waiting on Wednesday: Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released.

This week in my spotlight, I’ve chosen:

28217802Book: Girl Mans Up
Author: M-E Girard
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 384

 

Summary:

All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she’s trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she’s not. If she dresses like a girl, and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty. But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth–that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.

My Thoughts:

This sounds complicated and very emotional, and right now it sounds like a very good book!  Should be good!

What are you guys looking at this week?

Review: Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine ~~ Magical Books and Mechanical Evil Creatures

20643052Book: Ink and Bone
Series: The Great Library #1
Author: Rachel Caine
Date of Publication: July 7, 2015
Publisher: NAL
Genre: fiction, ya, fantasy, dystopian 
Source: NetGalley and publisher
Pages: 352

Rating:  5/5 Beans
5Bean - Copy

Short Summary:

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

My Thoughts:

Well, that was a crazy ride now wasn’t it??  It felt like this book had nearly everything in it that you could want: books, mechanical sphinx, (possible) magic, friendships, books, a giant respected library, book smuggling, and even book burning (I know we don’t want that but still it was there).  It actually felt a bit like magic and steampunk combined at points, which would be awesome btw.  Anyways, moving on.

Jess is our protagonist, and he is no innocent.  While he may not have blood on his hands, he knows enough people who do and has enough illegal activities on his metaphorical transcript.  As a smuggler, he smuggles rare copies of books to wealthy buyers, but when he is given the opportunity to travel and study at the Library, he jumps at the chance.  What follows is a series of events that lead to an unforgettable adventure wrought with danger and hard-learned lessons.

The setting was interesting and although supposedly set in the future, the London of the past kept appearing in my head.  I couldn’t really help it. The descriptions of the cities and the actions of the people in and around them felt very World War II era to me.  However, I had no problem getting drawing into this world and enjoyed it all, despite the threat of being killed by starving mobs and book-eating weirdos (seriously?!?).

The wonderful characters.  Jess was likable in his frank way.  I enjoyed that he barely ever hid the truth from anyone and was very regretful whenever he did.  Thomas was my favorite, always the optimist and creative to boot!  Kahlila was a bit odd for me because I only half warmed up to her, and the same goes for Dario.  I’m curious where the next book will take them.  Morgan was a puzzle, but I really loved her and I hope there’s more about her in the next book!!

Overall, I have pretty much nothing bad to say, I highly recommend this book, did I mention it’s about a Library? And books? And possible magic?  Must read for sure!! Five beans from me!

Stacking the Shelves [35]

IMG_0400

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books that you buy in a physical store or online, books your borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks.

——

Physical:
Bought:
And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White
The Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab
The Heroine Complex (Heroine Complex #1) by Sarah Kuhn

Sent:
Over the Underworld (The Unbelievable FIB #2) by Adam Shaughnessy
****Thank you Algonquin Teen!!!

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Library:
The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB (The Unbelievable FIB #1) by Adam Shaughnessy

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Ebooks:
For Review:
Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France by Craig Carlson
The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca

 

I have to thank Algonquin Teen for the copy of Over the Underworld, this did mean that I visited the library again and got the first book from the series, but I have not been to the library in a while and I forget how much I love it there.

What did you guys get this week??

Review: It’s A Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt ~~ Underwhelming Mean Girls

20697586Book: It's A Wonderful Death
Author: Sarah J. Schmitt
Date of Publication: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: fiction, ya, fantasy, contemporary, paranormal 
Source: Edelweiss and publisher
Pages: 320

Rating:  3/5 Beans
3Bean

Short Summary:

Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.

RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who’s cuter than you’d expect; Hawaiian shirt–wearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction. 

My Thoughts:

Thank you to Edelweiss and Sky Pony Press for the copy of this book to review (I’m finally catching up!!) and I am presenting my honest opinions of this book.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this novel since I say it on the upcoming books list last year (don’t get mad!) and when I received a copy from Edelweiss I got super excited.  Reading it was not what I had expected.

Honestly, I was underwhelmed by this book. RJ is super snarky, which I did enjoy, but I found her annoying and needy.  Not only that, but I felt as though I had read or heard this story so many times before: a mean girl wanting to change her life around after realizing that she had done wrong in her first ‘attempt’ at living.  It was a bit strange even, because I found that as RJ changed into her other persona, I liked her less, which is really quite strange for me and to me.

At the beginning I was hooked on!  I loved the way RJ and her Grimm Reaper interacted and each time they were together it was fire and ice and awesome.  Add in her guardian angel and you have three personalities so different you could only get an ultimate sort-of-harmony? My issue was that I got bored, and I hate saying that.

Overall, I enjoyed the first half of the book, but found myself getting bored for the rest that I found predictable.  3 beans from me, good for those who love sassy females and surfer dude Grimm Reapers.

Waiting on Wednesday: A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released.

This week in my spotlight, I’ve chosen:

29348069Book: A City Dreaming
Author: Daniel Polansky
Publication Date: October 6, 2016
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 256

 

Summary:

A powerful magician returns to New York City and reluctantly finds himself in the middle of a war between the city’s two most powerful witches.

“It would help if you did not think of it as magic. M certainly had long ceased to do so.” 

M is an ageless drifter with a sharp tongue, few scruples, and the ability to bend reality to his will, ever so slightly. He’s come back to New York City after a long absence, and though he’d much rather spend his days drinking artisanal beer in his favorite local bar, his old friends—and his enemies—have other plans for him. One night M might find himself squaring off against the pirates who cruise the Gowanus Canal; another night sees him at a fashionable uptown charity auction where the waitstaff are all zombies. A subway ride through the inner circles of hell? In M’s world, that’s practically a pleasant diversion.

Before too long, M realizes he’s landed in the middle of a power struggle between Celise, the elegant White Queen of Manhattan, and Abilene, Brooklyn’s hip, free-spirited Red Queen, a rivalry that threatens to make New York go the way of Atlantis. To stop it, M will have to call in every favor, waste every charm, and blow every spell he’s ever acquired—he might even have to get out of bed before noon.

Enter a world of Wall Street wolves, slumming scenesters, desperate artists, drug-induced divinities, pocket steampunk universes, and demonic coffee shops. M’s New York, the infinite nexus of the universe, really is a city that never sleeps—but is always dreaming.

My Thoughts:

Alright, I know that it’s a long summary (blame Goodreads) but honestly, the part of this book that really caught me was “demonic coffee shops”.  What can I say? Coffee shops with demons intrigue me!

What did you guys find this week??

 

ARC Review: The Last One by Alexandra Olivia // Reality of Reality TV?

27245997Book: The Last One
Author: Alexandra Olivia
Date of Publication: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: fiction, scifi, thriller, dystopian 
Source: publisher (thank you!!!!)
Pages: 290

Rating:  4.5/5 Beans
4HalfBean

Short Summary:

Survival is the name of the game as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself in Alexandra Oliva’s fast-paced novel of suspense.

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.


My Thoughts:

To start off I have to thank the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book, because it was bloody brilliant, and deserves to be noticed!

Never before has a book blurred the lines between fiction and reality in the setting of a reality show.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set during the taping of a reality show. At least not one that basically walks through the process of creating a reality show.  I was a bit thrown by the occasional Reddit inserts showing the redactions that people were having over the corse of the first three episodes being aired. I mean, I’ve watched Survivor and a few similar shows, but always as a viewer, and have never known someone who was on one.  I found myself getting frustrated with the viewers who commented that it was super easy and scripted when we also saw how much the viewers did not see and how much the contestants suffered mentally and physically at different points.  This was most likely the point.

As far as the characters go, I wanted the winners to be: Tracker, Zoo, and Air Force/Carpenter Girl (I liked both of them for third).  Tracker really grew on me the more he helped out the others and how he acted because it was the right thing to do and took bull from NO ONE!  Air Force and Carpenter Girl were just likable people, and I seem to be drawn towards likable people.  Zoo, our main character, is very interesting.  I found myself drowning in her same confusion about the differences between reality and what is created for the show.  She keeps talking about things being fake, and as a reader, there is doubt but not concrete evidence.

Side note! This is one of the first dystopian books I’ve read (especially lately) that doesn’t include true zombies!!

I’ve never read a book quite like this and I think it deserves the attention.  For sure a one of a kind (as far as I know) and an intense, mind-messing thriller.  I highly recommend!! It comes out next week so you all should be on the lookout! Four point five out of five beans from me!

 

June Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews

June has been super busy, but in a good way!  I ran two Spartan Races (see my personal Instagram for after photos at least @sarabean234) and a college friend of mine got married (CONGRATS!!) so I spent some time in Minnesota and then some other time still around Wisconsin (my home state).  I’ve also really started getting into that social media stuff, and my reading has suffered a bit because of it…I confess to not being able to get through the books I wanted as of yet. However, for July I do have a few books that I do plan on reading and I even put up a TBR on Instagram, which I never really do…

Books I’ve Read:

Anyways, as far as books went, it wasn’t that big of a reading month, at least not as big as I would have liked…but a solid seven, so that’s good!

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan five beans – As far as picking a book up on a whim, this book is my favorite so far.  The raw emotion about trying to figure out who your friends are and the true personality of someone you thought you knew sucks you in and holds you there.

Prom Dates from Hell (Maggie Quinn: Girl vs Evil #1) by Rosemary Clement-Moore five beans – A surprising book full of laughs and sass that brings the idea of being a demon hunter to  level just below Buffy.  Feels much more realistic that I would have liked, but that’s the fun right?

A Grimm Curse (Grimm Tales #3) by Janna Jennings four point five beans – Janna Jennings is quickly becoming a top author for me and I love her writing!  This series is great, and adding a novella about the origins of how the ancestors met was a great twist.

Easy. Whole. Vegan.: 100 Flavor Packed, No-Stress Recipes for Busy Families by Melissa King five beans – A healthy, vegan, simply cookbook that doesn’t require terribly complicated or hard-to-find ingredients? Sign me up!! Delicious food and adorable stories about her family!

INFECtIOUS (INFECtIONS #1) by Elizabeth Forkey one bean – I didn’t finish this one.  Seriously, I tried like four times and couldn’t do it.  Might be more up your alley than mine though?

Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia three point five beans – Not a favorite book for mine, but it intrigued me and I did enjoy it and would recommend it. The writing was wonderful and so real I couldn’t say no, but I couldn’t sympathize with our main character and that put me of a bit.

Assassination Classroom (Assassination Classroom Vol. 10) by Yūsei Hatsui five beans – I can’t wait to see what happens with the next one, which I know is out in other countries but I had to pre-order it to get the english version off of Amazon (UGH!! Why must I WAIT?!?!) so bear with me on this!!

 

Monthly Favorites:
Book: Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Movie: I didn’t really watch any movies this month….I know a travesty!!
TV Show: Beauty & the Beast (it’s on Netflix, go watch the attractive people and the action!!)

How were your months? What did you do?

Waiting on Wednesday: And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released.

This week in my spotlight, I’ve chosen:

25324111Book: And I Darken
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Author: Kiersten White
Publication Date: July 7, 2016
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Pages: 498

 

Summary:

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.

Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.

Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.

The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.

My Thoughts:

A princess who takes matters into her own hands?  How have I not heard of this?! And it comes out this week!!!!