Summer Read With a Super Cute Disabled Love Interest! // Sunday Street Team: Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hey everyone welcome to my stop for the Sunday Street Team tour for Girl Out of Water. I am super excited for this post because I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to share my thoughts on it. I hope you enjoy and if you're interesting, make sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post. 

Girl Out of Water

Author: Laura Silverman
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 2nd 2017
Format: eARC
Rating:
| Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository |
Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word. Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves
I think the thing that really intrigued me about this book was the fact that the love interest for the Anisa, Lincoln, is disabled! I honestly don't think I read enough books with characters who are disabled so I was super excited to read this book. Also, it seemed like a super cute summer read so I was pretty excited for another summer-y read. All in all, I really enjoyed it. I think the book had a few flaws but it's a super cute read. Definitely a great read if you're looking for a book with summer vibes.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the characters. Not only do I really love the main character, but also the side characters. I think Anise had really great dynamics and relationships with the side characters: her cousins, her aunt, her dad, Lincoln, and other characters. I really admired how persistent and competitive she is and is kind of a perfectionist. Also, she really cared about her friends and owned up to her mistakes, which I also really liked about her. I definitely think there were so many facepalm moments in this book and I liked how Silverman wrote her as a flawed character who later realizes the mistakes she makes.

Ya Like Films? (And Beaches? And The Enemies Turned Lovers Trope?) // Thoughts on Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Alex, Approximately

Author: Jenn Bennett 
Release Date: April 4th 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: eARC
Rating:
The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet. Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush. Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter. And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

Goodreads

If it's anything I love reading, it's a great cute contemporary. I don't know, there is just something so great about contemporary novels and it's even better when they're hella cute. I most definitely turned to Alex, Approximately for a cute summer read and the story definitely delivered. The plot is super addicting to read about and the characters are so enjoyable. I loved reading about the whole "Porter is Alex" part of this book and the whole book sends such great summer vibes. (Especially considering it's not summer vacation. *tear*) If you're looking for a super cute summer read, Alex, Approximately is most definitely one of them.

The first thing that I really want to get out of the way before talking about this book is the fact that the synopsis for this book kinda sucks. I think they summarize the premise of the book really well but all that is ruined because they reveal the big plot twist-like thing at the end of the synopsis. Okay, I admit, the whole Porter is Alex thing is one of the reasons I wanted to read this book but I think there is a way to get readers to read this book without revealing the whole ending. I don't know, it may be different for everyone but personally, I think I would have enjoyed the big reveal of this book if I hadn't previously known who Alex was. 

An Important Book With A New Perspective on Being Black in America // Thoughts on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 28th 2017
Format: eBook
Rating:
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Goodreads

Going into this book, I had such high expectations and I am so glad to say that they have definitely surpassed them. I don't think I really did much research about this book before I read it, so I had a vague gist of what the plot was about. Even without reading the book yet, I knew it was going to bring up and confront many racial issues our society is facing today. Let me just say, Thomas beautifully confronts and handles different issues of our society and gives a whole other perspective on what it is like to be a black person today.

The Hate U Give is written by an #OwnVoices author, which means that the story and characters are written by an author who has basically experienced the same things the characters may have experienced. (Disclaimer: I don't know if that's the exact definition but that's how I interpret the term) The opinions regarding racism and racial equality that comes from this book aren't from some white person trying to understand what it may be like to be a black person in our society, no. They're based off (what I'm assuming are) experiences. The Hate U Give confronts may issues of our society: racial profiling, stereotypes, police brutality, gang violence, drugs, white-privilege, so and so on. 

Allergies Season Has Arrived! Kill Me Now! // Hello April!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Hello and welcome to April! For once in my life, I'm actually posting a monthly recap thing on the first of the month?? What?! It actually worked out in my schedule and I am so happy because I always feel so behind when I see monthly posts like this being published on the first and I'm here with a post that is scheduled and coming out SOON. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great March and is looking forward to April. Enjoy!
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Queens of Geek by Jen Wile
  • Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Okay so reading this month totally SUCKED. Honestly, I think I need to go back to reading books I actually want to read and not books that I need to get read. I thought I wanted to read the books that I put on my TBR list but it didn't turn out that way. March was a little slow when it came to reading and I really hope that this is not going to be the beginning of my annual reading slump.

We are now three months into the new year and I am so glad that my motivation to blog has yet to slip and fall into an abyss. The month of March has had the most posts of this year and I am hoping that I will always be posting this often. My favorite post of last month has to be the Literary Road trip. I love traveling so getting to write about a dream road trip with literary characters was really fun. Lot's of reviews this month, which is good but I am hoping to write more discussion posts sooner or later. We shall see, maybe I'll finally write some this month!

An Interview, Review, & Except Walked Into A Bar... // An Interview with Roshani Chokshi, My Thoughts on A Crown of Wishes, & An Audiobook Excerpt

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hello everyone and welcome to today's super exciting post! I have the wonderful opportunity to be apart of the A Crown of Wishes blog tour. I read The Star Touched Queen last year and loved it, so I was super excited to have the chance to read A Crown of Wishes and be in the blog tour. I got a lot for you guys today. First, we have an interview with Roshani, followed by an excerpt from A Crown of Wishes' audiobook, and then we have my review of the book. It's a lot but I hope you enjoy!

A Crown of Wishes

Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Format: eARC
Rating:
| Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository |
Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels. Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Goodreads 

Interview with Roshani Chokshi

1. This is your second published book, congrats! Did you come across any difficulties with writing any of the characters in A Crown of Wishes?
Hahahahahahaha (yes). I felt like I was drowning every other day because I loved Vikram and Gauri so much and felt like I wasn’t giving them equal attention when I tried writing it all in 1st or 3rd person, which is how the dual narrative came to be. Honestly, ACOW was the first time I ever cried during writing…because I felt so emotionally affected by what they were doing. They really came alive to me, so once I let them dictate the story, it was easier to write. Neither of them liked outlines because they’re both curmudgeony and contrary. Rude.

2. What is your favorite aspect of getting to tell a story in a world that you made up?
The romaaaaaance….I love that moment when the world begins to tilt all because you suddenly noticed how something ordinary became extraordinary. The act of love really is---and please excuse the cliché---a fall. You’ve relinquished control. It’s scary. And I believe it brings out the rawness in a character and makes them come alive when you feel their grief and trepidation and wonder.

My New Favorite Trilogy. Broke My Heart But I Still Love It // Thoughts on The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 18th 2012 
Format:  Paperback
Rating:
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control. Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.
I feel like for the longest time now, The Darkest Minds trilogy has been sitting on my shelf. All brand new, shiny, and unread. Well, I am glad to be here today to be able to say that I have read the trilogy and loved it. (Shoutout to Xan and Anneqah for giving me that push to read the trilogy. Also for being my shoulders to cry on.) I loved this trilogy so much and I would write reviews for each book but haha, I am way too lazy for that so I am just going to write on review for the whole entire trilogy. Definitely pick up the first book though because once you read the first book you can't not continue.

One of my favorite things about this series is the different characters Ruby encounters and the friends she makes, this first book especially. I love the characters of this series and not only because they are all such fabulous people, but because that there are a few diverse ones. Race doesn't play a large role in the series but I love the fact that Bracken didn't overlook the fact that the world is not filled with white people, which is how the world was portrayed in most books published around (and before) the time The Darkest Minds.

This Book Had A Great World and Gay Characters! // Blog Tour: Audiobook Review of Timekeeper by Tara Sim and Giveaway!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hey everyone and welcome to today's post! I am super excited today to be reviewing the audiobook of Tara Sim's Timekeeper. This would be my first audiobook so I am looking forward to sharing my experience to everyone and also be reviewing this wonderful book, which has been on my TBR for the longest time now. I hope you enjoy and make sure you enter the giveaway at the end of this post, we're giving away some fabulous stuff! Thank you The Audiobookworm for hosting this tour and you can check out the rest of the tour here!

Timekeeper

Author: Tara Sim
Publisher: Forever Young Audiobooks
Release Date: November 8th 2016
Format: eBook
Rating:
Narrator: Gary Furlong
Length: 8h 50m
Audible | Audiobook Excerpt |
Two o’clock was missing. In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely. It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors. And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve. But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

Goodreads

I received an audiobook of Timekeeper for this tour and in exchange, will be providing a review where none of my thoughts are affected by the circumstances.

The synopsis of Timekeeper really sold me onto reading this book. It has gay characters, an urban fantasy type of world, and a mysterious storyline. I really hoped that I would like this book and I am really glad I did. It was also really awesome getting to hear the book in audiobook form. If you're looking for a book with a really unique world and some great characters, I would definitely recommend Timekeeper.

The narrator of this audiobook was Gary Furlong and for my first audiobook, I think he did a pretty fabulous book job of telling this story. He didn't sound too stiff or forced when he was reading and did a good job giving the vibes of someone reading to you. I also liked how there weren't many awkward pauses and Furlong just kept the narration going. The sound quality was really good and overall a great quality audiobook.

Four Literary Characters, One Foreign County, Snacks. // My Dream Literary Road Trip and Stranger than Fanfiction Giveaway!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Hello everyone! I am super excited to share today's post because it is definitely a fun one. This post was inspired by Chris Colfer's newest release, Stranger than Fanfiction, which is about an actor who takes a road trip with four fans across the country. So, in tribute of the main character's road trip, I decided to write about my own. This road trip is my dream literary road trip (basically, a road trip with four literary characters)! I had a lot of fun with this post so I hope you enjoy. Also, make sure to check out the giveaway below if you're interested in winning a copy of Stranger than Fanfiction.

Now for the giveaway. I'm working with Little, Brown & Co (Stranger than Fanfiction's publisher) to giveaway a copy of Stranger than Fiction to you guys! This giveaway lasts for two weeks and ends on March 31 so make sure to get your entries in. I will be contacting the winners through email after the giveaway ends and they will have 48 hours to respond with their address before they forfeit the prize. US only, best of luck, and thank you for entering!

People

The most important part of a road trip is the people! In Stranger than Fiction, Cash, the main character, road trips with four other people, so I have chosen four fictional characters to read trip with!
  • Chubs // The Darkest Minds; I actually just finished this trilogy (suuuuch a great trilogy) and the characters in The Darkest Minds kind of go on their own road trip. I loved all the characters but I would love to be able to go on a road trip with Chubs. I love his personality and he is kind of a dork and I do love dorky characters. I think he would be a fabulous addition to my road trip and probably the person handling the music throughout the whole entire trip.

Your Search for a Beautiful Super Diverse Book Is Over. // Thoughts on Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Queens of Geek

Author: Jen Wilde
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: March 14th 2017 
Format: ARC
Rating:
When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever. Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought. While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own. Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Goodreads

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. None of my thoughts are altered by this. 

For so long, I have been looking for a book that is super diverse. Like so diverse that there are more diverse characters compared to your typical white straight characters. This. Is. The. Book. I have found it. It has been written.

I have so many things to say about Queens of Geek so I am going to try to take it one thing at a time and not spew out all my thoughts within two sentences. First of all, and the biggest thing: it's diverse af man. DIVERSE AF. This book features POC, LGBTQ+, and mental illness characters. One of the main characters is Chinese (homegirl got so excited when she read about that), one of the love interests is Mexican, we meet characters who talk about their experience with things like anxiety and panic attacks, and on top of that, the author handles sexuality beautifully. SO DIVERSE. EVERYTHING IS THERE.

It's Quick. It's Cute. And it Takes Place in Hawaii // Thoughts on Summer of Sloane by Erin Schneider

Friday, March 10, 2017

Summer of Sloane

Author: Erin Schneider
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Format: eARC
Rating:
Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle. These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart. Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home. But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself. 
I got this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. None of my thoughts are influenced by this

I went into Summer of Sloane looking for a light, quick, cute contemporary and I am so glad I picked this book up because I am honestly so addicted to this story. The beach setting really set the mood for a light fun read but I also really liked how Erin managed to write in some more emotional and more serious topics into the book.

One of my favorite things about this book is how many great characters there are. The book revolves around Sloane going to Hawaii after learning about this heartbreaking secret coming for two of her best friends and I really loved Sloane's friends (the ones who lived in Hawaii) comforting her through the terrible betrayal she had just faced. Also, Finn is not the only swoony island boy just saying.

Ready to March My Way Through March (I'm So Funny OMG) // Hello March!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hello everyone and welcome to March! I had a super busy February so I am glad that all the busy has passed and we're going into a new month. Luckily, I don't have too many things lined up for March so it looks like it will be a chill month! (And I am hoping it stays chill.) I hope everyone had a wonderful February though and has some exciting things for March.
  • Velvet by Temple West
  • Cashmere by Temple West
  • Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman
  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare 
Out of the five books I read this month, only two of them was actually a part of my initial TBR list, oops! I could hardly care though because I absolutely loved the books that I read last month. I could care less about Romeo and Juliet though because that was for school (the story is so stupid) but I'm happy that I was able to get more than two books read last month. Hopefully I have the same luck this month!

Everyone, This is My New Favorite Pirate Book // Thoughts on Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Daughter of the Pirate King

Author: Tricia Levenseller
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 28th 2017
Format: ARC
Rating:
A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure. Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship. More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King. Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. None of my thoughts are altered by this.

Ahhhh pirates! I gotta admit, I don't read a lot of books with pirates. Sure, there is the occasional book here and there about pirates but I don't read about pirates on the regular. I should though because pirates definitely make for interesting stories. An example: Daughter of the Pirate King (that segway oh my gosh). I was very interested in this story when I read the synopsis and I am so glad it did not disappoint because the storyline the synopsis was giving me was definitely something that I wanted to read about. If you're looking for a pirate book I would definitely recommend Daughter of the Pirate King.

I Went to that Tiny Island Across the Sea // A Small Recap of My Time in Europe

Friday, February 24, 2017

Hello everyone! Today I decided to bring you guys with a few photos that I took on my trip to Europe this past winter. I definitely took a lot more pictures than what I am showing you guys here and I didn't want to do a large post with a whole bunch of pictures so I decided to just pick some of the best and put it in a post. I do hope you enjoy this post and my pictures!
Pictured: An alleyway next to the hotel I stayed in London and St. Paul's Cathedral!

Meet the Book that Has Thrown Me into an Emotional Hangover // Thoughts on Velvet by Temple West

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Velvet

Author: Temple West
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: May 12th 2015
Format: Paperback
First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don't fall in love. After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire. Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart?
If you don't know, I am not that big of a paranormal person. All the angels and demons and faeries and werewolves shit, haaaaah yeah I'm not for all that. However, I am definitely not all against the matter of reading paranormal. Sometimes I can find myself a paranormal series that I really like (please read: that week I spent reading Vampire Academy) and this may be one of them, yay! I remember seeing Velvet around a really long time ago and what made me put it on my TBR were the book trailers, which are short and vague but very interesting. So, I put it on my TBR shelf and it wasn't until summer of last year when I was at Powell's that I saw the book there for about $7 and went ahead and bought it. And 2 weeks ago-ish, I finally picked it up.

Now I don't know why I waited so long to read this book because holy crap it is, SO GOOD. (Okay well I'm kind of postponed this book because the wait for book 2 would have been terrible) One of the things that I drives me away from paranormal is when the story becomes *too* much about the paranormal world, which is kinda weird to say because a paranormal book is about the paranormal things going on. It's just sometimes, a book is all out the paranormal. Every page in spent talking about the angels or faeries or whatever creature the book is about and it kind of lacks the fun moments of life. Velvet did not have that.

5 Cutesy Books to Read on This Lonely Valentine's Day // Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day! For some, this may be a day to celebrate love and having someone while for others, this may be the Tuesday to steal chocolate and sit in bed, alone. Well, rest assured, you won't be alone tonight because I have got a short list of some of my most recent cutesy-romance books. I tried to include less popular books so I just want to mention that you will not find Stephanie Perkins, Morgan Matson, or Jenny Han on this list but if you haven't read their books, I would definitely recommend their books. Okay now, onto the list! Here are five books that I quickly devoured and got the cutesy romance that will be perfect for Valentine's Day


Velvet by Temple West
Okay so, if you follow me on Twitter then you will know that I have been talking about this book a lot lately. I don't have a review of this book for you yet (soon soon soon) but it is, ugh, so good. Velvet not a book that is mainly romance but that you do indeed get romance from this book (Caitlin and Adrian are so cute oh my lord) but also some fun paranormal! I don't normally do paranormal books but this series has quickly become my new favorite series. Gonna admit, it's not all about the romance and relationship but I think it is still such a fabulous read.

Summer of Sloane by Erin Schneider 
I read Summer of Sloane after reading a whole bunch of fantasy novels and I went to it in need of just something light and quick and Summer of Sloane definitely delivered. I don't wanna repeat too much of what I mentioned in my review (again, soon!) so I'm not gonna say much other than please! read! this! book! it's fast! it has great characters! and such cute romance! do! yourself! a! favor!

LOL These Books Were Kinda Disappointing Oops // Thoughts on Of Fire and Stars & Assassin's Heart

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Assassin’s Heart

Author: Sarah Ahiers
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 2nd 2016 
Format: eARC
In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down. Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay. 
I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited about this book. I love fantasy and books about assassins, betrayal, and vengeance but this book was kind of underwhelming and just wasn’t what I expected. I really liked the world that Assassin's Heart took place in, the author did a really great job with developing the world, and the beginning set the book up great for the rest of the story but after that it kinda just fell for me. The rest of the storyline the author had for the character just wasn’t what I had hoped for.

Thank God February is Short // January Recap and February Happenings

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Hello everyone and welcome to my February post thingy. (oh my god I will never figure out what to call these huh?) I hope everyone's January went well and is ready for February, the shortest month of the year (yay!). My January was pretty good. I started it off in Europe and ended the month sleep deprived and completely unmotivated to get back into school. (double yay!) Anyway, I hope everyone has a great February and that you enjoy this post! 
  • Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
  • A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
  • Summer of Sloane by Erin Schnider
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  • Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
I'm pretty happy with what I got read this month. I only had about a week of January where I was still on Winter break so I was able to get about three books in within that week. Then I joined in with Xan and Aneeqah to read The Darkest Minds, which was fun because this series is pretty addicting and they were definitely great people to scream with about my feels. I only read the first two books but I definitely plan to read the last book this month and I am looking forward to it because this series is soooo goood.

A Very Trippy, Shady, Addicting as Hell Debut // Thoughts on Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: January 31st 2017
Format: Physical ARC
Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game... Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. None of my thoughts are affected by that.

OH CARAVAL. This has been such a highly anticipated read for me. The moment I heard Stephanie got a book deal, I knew I wanted to read the book, despite the fact that the only thing known about this book was the title and a small description. So yes, I went into this book with a lot of high hopes which were definitely not let down. Let me tell you (and I certainly won't be the first) Caraval went way beyond my expectations and I loved it. It had a great plot, such interesting characters, and the whole concept of Caraval is so fun and very mysterious. This book has fantasy aspects, sooo much suspense, great character relationships and I really think it's a book everyone would enjoy.

First, let's talk about the event itself, Caraval. I love the concept and I applaud Stephanie for coming up with something so intriguing and it really reminds me of an escape room. If you don't know what an escape room is, it's basically where you and a group of people are locked in a room and the only way to exit is through solving clues. Caraval is kind of like that, but more extreme. The game lasts longer, people can watch the game, I'm pretty sure you can leave the game any day you want, but both escape room and Caraval have a similar concept; solve these clues within the given time and you get out. Having a book take place within Caraval made for such an awesome story, especially with Scarlett and the position she was put in.

Now, onto the actual book itself. Caraval had suspense, a lot of mystery, and the plot twists in this book, oooh! I think Stephanie did a great job with always keeping this book suspenseful and interesting which is something I might be looking forward to in her future works. If you're someone who loves to predict what happens next or try to solve the mystery, Caraval might even be more fun for you to read because this book constantly was surprising me. Alas, I am just a kind of "go with the flow" reader so I made no effort to try to figure things out and just went with the story. Of course, the book was still super enjoyable despite that.

The only tiny problem I had with this book was Scarlett and how she was a little irritating the beginning. It didn't affect my enjoyment of the book too much but her character was a little whiny at times, which irked me a little. However, I'm glad this issue didn't last long and didn't go on forever.

The "7 Asian Characters in YA" List but Stronger // Happy Chinese New Year!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hi everyone and happy Chinese New Year (if you celebrate it)! If you remember, last year I wrote a post similar to this one. I really loved being able to compile a list of Asian characters so I decided to do it again this year. Last year, I really had the list limited to people of East Asia so this year, I expanded the characters a bit to cover more parts of Asia.

Sadly, Asians are still so under-represented in the YA community and I really hope that I can come back next year and be able to say something along the lines of "Wow, I had a lot of trouble choosing characters this year." Diversity is still such a fragile thing and we're still very much working on more diverse books. It's getting better but Asians are still definitely under-represented (and that's for shows and movies too *cough*). Anyway, I hope you enjoy this post, have yourself a nice Saturday (or Chinese New Year if you celebrate!) and find yourself a new diverse book from this post.


Mercy // Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
Every time I think of books that include Asian or Chinese characters in a book, Outrun the Moon is the first book that comes into mind. I love Stacey Lee and this one has got to be my favorite book of hers. It's about a Chinese girl navigating her way through the 1906 earthquake of San Francisco and issues like discrimination play a pretty large part in Outrun the Moon. I think this book has such a great variety of ethnicities within its group of characters and Chinese characters are definitely involved.

The Internet Isn't Ready for Vika // The Tsar's Guard Spotlight Tour (Giveaway!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hello everyone and welcome to my post for The Tsar's Guard Spotlight Tour for The Crown's Fate! Super excited for this post because I am really looking forward to sharing with you guys what I did for the tour. The Crown's Game was a pretty highly anticipated book for me last year and I ended up really liking it. The Crown's Fate release is coming around soon so I was happy to help promote it.

Like last year, I made a blog for a character imagining as if that character were to have a blog. Last year, I made Nikolai a blog and this year, I decided to make Vika a blog, because why not! I'm really excited for this too because I love what I did for Vika's blog (more than Nikolai's oops).

and without further ado, here is the blog!

The image will take you to the blog!

My process

I went with a very minimalistic look for this blog. I tried to stay away from cursive, fancier fonts, and mainly relied on fonts that were Sans-Serif. If anything, I think this blog has a total of like 3 different fonts used on it, pretty impressive seeing as though I do tend to go font crazy sometimes. The font I used for the blog looked good in all capitals and lowercases so I had something to work with.

Following the minimalistic look, I knew that I didn't want the blog to be all white, hence the light purple. Originally I wanted a more purple-grey look but I think this purple looks really great, especially because I could play around with the darker purples to contrast the light purple background.

I also used basically the same design that I have for this blog for Vika's menu bar, which is a little repetitive with my blog as well because I think it goes very well with the site. And I didn't put it above the sidebar this time because there was so little things to go on the menu bar so I just went ahead and put it above the posts, which I am really liking. I was also able to whip up a few posts for the blog (thank you Sarah!) just so it wasn't as empty as Nikolai's last year.

So yeah, that is Vika's blog. I really love this one and I hope you do too. If you're interested in this template, email me! I would be happy to give it to you. :)

Historic England, Pirates, POC Characters. We've Got it All! // Thoughts on Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Blackhearts

Author: Nicole Castroman
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 9th 2016
Format: eARC
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back. Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England? From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

Goodreads

I recieved an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. None of my thoughts are effected by that.

This was such a fabulous read and I am definitely hitting myself for not reading it earlier. It’s a pirate historical fiction taking place in the 1800s, which is definitely something I hadn't heard of in previous books so I was intruiged. It doesn't seem like my type of read but I quickly fell in love with the world and characters and am now so head over heels for the universe Nicole has created. Nicole did such a fabulous job keeping readers captivated in her story of Anne and Teach. I am so excited to talk about this book today and I hope some of you decide to pick it up!

Oh, 2017! I Didn't See You There! // 2017 Goals aka My New Year's Resolutions

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hello and welcome to 2017! You can obviously see that I am up to a great start based on the fact that this post is 14 days late but I think I have a pretty good excuse. Anyway, I decided that I would post some of my goals this year just to have them out there so I can go back on them at the end of the year and so if anyone wants to, they can be my nagger of the year and nag me into achieving my goals. This is a pretty short post so I hope you enjoy it!
2017 Blog Goals
  • Manage my time better
  • Buy less books
  • Support more POC authors
  • Reading more diverse books
  • Post more consistently
  • Post on Instagram more consistently
  • Post more discussing posts
  • Further encourage and promotion of diversity
So I have a lot of goals this year because as a blogger, I definitely don't think I did my job well in 2016. I want to advocate more on diversity, support more POC, disabled, and LGBTQ+ authors and books that feature diverse characters, and talk more about diversity here and on my Twitter as well. As I POC blogger I definitely think the lack of diversity is an issue that the book community should constantly be talking about.

2016 was also the time where I completely bombed on posting here and on Instagram. I tend to really lazy out with Instagram so I am hoping to take more pictures for Instagram this year and also post at least 5 times a month during this year. Obviously, I would love to post more but I gotta set a realistic goal for myself with school. We shall see how that goes though!