Waiting on Wednesday (65)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
27 Hours by Tristina Wright
Series: The Nightside Saga #1
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi/LGBTQIA+
Page Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: October 3, 2017

About 27 Hours (via Goodreads):

Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.

But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she's in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother's shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon's darkest secret.

They'll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can't stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that's left.





Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

2016 End of the Year Book Survey

Monday, January 9, 2017

I'm a bit late in posting this, but this amazing survey was created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner! I participated for 2015 and enjoyed it so much that I decided to do it again for my 2016 reading year :)


2016 Reading Stats


Number Of Books You Read: 60
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: fantasy

Best in Books


1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

Fantasy DebutThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Fantasy Non-Debut/Backlist: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
ContemporaryThe Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?


3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?


4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Starter: Everland by Wendy Spinale
Sequel/Ender: The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?
Roshani Chokshi (if you didn't already figure that out). But also Tara Sim because Timekeeper was one of my favorite books this year - her writing is so vivid and the concept was so extraordinary.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?


8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?


9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?


I just love this poetry collection so much (plus it's being re-released in 2017 with several new poems and I'm so excited!!!)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?


11. Most memorable character of 2016?
Nightblood from Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (I've been trying to not repeat too much, but I have to give credit where credit is due, because Roshani's debut is absolutely gorgeous, vivid, and perfect)

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?


14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 


15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?


"you were a dragon long before
he came around and said
you could fly

you will remain a dragon
long after he's left"
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?
Shortest: The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
Longest: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
THERE ARE TOO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM!!!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Lightsong and Llarimar from Warbreaker

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously


21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?
Kash from The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

23. Best 2016 debut you read?
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?


26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?
Apparently 11 books made me cry this year (I have a Goodreads shelf where I keep track), but the only ones that made me ugly cry (like full on bawling) were The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner and Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?


28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
(see #26)

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?


30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?




Your Blogging/Bookish Life


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?
I honestly barely even remember what blogs I started following this year versus last year, and I haven't been blog hopping lately, so I'll just name one of my favorites: Maha's blog, Younicorn Reads.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?
One of my favorites is my review of Everland by Wendy Spinale! Check it out here.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
My discussion about epilogues.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
There were so many amazing events I went to this year that I can't possibly choose. I met some of my blog friends for the first time this year, and also met several of my favorite authors at different events.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?
So this has not technically been published yet, but I'm included in the acknowledgements of one of my favorite authors' books *heart eyes* I am so so so humbled and grateful and still kind of flailing even though I found out over a month ago.

And one of my other favorite authors surprised me by sending an ARC of her newest book. Even as I write this a week later, I still can't believe it.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Finding time to actually read and blog...

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
I honestly have no idea why, but this SST interview with Becky Allen, author of Bound by Blood and Sand got the most views, with my random rambling about my Hogwarts House identity crisis close behind.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
My discussion about epilogues.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
This may sound silly now, but I discovered Owlcrate last year (and got my first box this December!) It's such a fantastic subscription service and I can't wait to get my next box!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Pretty mixed, honestly. I ended up being 17 books behind for my GR challenge and only finished 1 out of the 4 series I planned on finishing, but I think I did okay/reached my goal for Flights of Fantasy and possibly Backlist Books...

Looking Ahead


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. I got maybe a third of the way through before getting distracted by life things... I was really enjoying it, but I only had time to read a chapter every few weeks and it wasn't an enjoyable experience (I'd rather be able to read it in a span of a few days and fully immerse myself).

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?
Top 2: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Top 2: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright and Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?
Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?
To actually post at least once a week... I feel like this shouldn't be too difficult, but who knows at this rate.

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I actually haven't read any 2017 releases yet!



September - December Wrap-Up

Saturday, January 7, 2017
Until December, I had not really been reading too much (or hauling many books), so I thought it was unnecessary to write a wrap-up for each month, so here's what I read in the past four months :)

September
  1. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  2. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
October
  1. Dreamology by Lucy Keating - 3.5 stars
  2. Candide by Voltaire
  3. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
November
  1. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon - 4 stars
  2. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur - 4 stars
  3. Timekeeper by Tara Sim - 3.75 stars
December
  1. What Light by Jay Asher - 3 stars
  2.  Beloved by Toni Morrison
  3. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  4. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson - 5 stars
  5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness - 4 stars
  6. Dan and Phil Go Outside by Dan Howell and Phil Lester

Mini Reviews of What Light & Dreamology

Saturday, December 17, 2016
What Light by Jay Asher
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Page Length:  251 pages
Format: ARC won at BookItCon
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill


About What Light (via Goodreads):


From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing again. . . .



Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.

What Light by Jay Asher is a cute and festive read for the Christmas season. While I was a bit cold-hearted and grinch-like when I first started reading the book, my heart slowly thawed and the story made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. While the romance was a bit rushed, I didn't think it was overly unrealistic (like instalove often is) and still found Sierra and Caleb's romance charming.
However, as characters go, I didn't find them all that engaging. They were far from bad by any means, but I never fully connected with them. Furthermore, although there was some character development, I thought there could have been a bit more growth based on the events that happened. On that note, the conflicts within the plot seemed to resolve a bit too quickly and too easily for my liking. I understand under the characters' circumstances, they did not have much time to resolve issues, but it still seemed a bit ridiculous.

The writing style was fine, but nothing extraordinary. Although I did not notice as much when I became more engrossed in the story, the sentence structures were very similar throughout and had minimal variation in length, making the story a bit hard to read when I first started reading it.

Overall, What Light was a fun and entertaining read. It left me laughing out loud on several occasions, and made me smile, flail, and fangirl, helping me get more in the holiday spirit.

My rating: 3 stars

Dreamology by Lucy Keating
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Page Length: 336 pages
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: HarperTeen



About Dreamology (via Goodreads):

Vibrantly offbeat and utterly original, Lucy Keating’s debut novel combines the unconventional romance of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with the sweetness and heart of Jenny Han.

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.


Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?



Dreamology by Lucy Keating is one of the most adorable books I have ever read. Filled with whimsy at every turn, I completely devoured this novel. The concept of this story was so unique and fun, and the story was overall fast-paced and an enjoyable read.

I also appreciate that although it was a lighter novel, it still dealt with some difficult situations and there was definitely character development involved. I was able to connect with the characters and fall in love with them, both in their reality and their dreams.

Dreamology was a truly delightful interlude after a long period of stress and craziness in my life, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for a book that will put a smile on your face.

My rating: 3.5 stars

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Book Tag

Sunday, December 11, 2016
Okay I'm a horrible person who didn't realize (or maybe I did and just completely forgot but) I was tagged for this way back in April by Cat @ Let the Pages Reign, but... better late than never...?

“So No One Told You Life Was Gonna Be This Way” - A Book Which Surprised You

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith - this book is meant to be emotional, I think, but definitely not to the degree that I felt emotions. I may have mentioned this in the past, but I found things to tear up about for a good half of the book, probably because a lot of the events/struggles in the novel reminded me of a lot of things I've gone through recently.

Chandler - A Book Which Had You On The Floor Laughing

Gena/Finn by Kat Hegelson and Hannah Moskowitz - although I will admit that this book takes a darker turn that was nothing but a downpour of tears by the end, the beginning is hilarious and witty and so much fun.

Monica - A Book That You Never Want To Be Damaged or Broken

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven - this book was already heartbreaking and soul-shattering enough, and it remains dear to my heart, so I'd never want the physical book to express that same brokenness.

Joey - A Book That You Love And Want To Become A Movie

Timekeeper by Tara Sim - the world and story were so imaginative and brilliant, and I think it would be so incredible to see the story unfold on the big screen!

Phoebe - A Book That Had Bad Reviews But You Loved

I'm pretty sure this isn't true anymore (since I read it ~4 years ago and my taste has changed a lot since then, especially since I can safely say I dislike most paranormal romances now), but when I read it, I really liked Fallen by Lauren Kate... I would like to say that I didn't love it, but I was crazy enough to buy the 2nd and 3rd books immediately upon finishing it, so maybe I was a bit obsessed with it. I was a lot younger and less experienced in the world of YA at the time though, so I'm kind of tempted to reread it to see what the big deal was/why people hated it so much.

Ross - A Book That You Can’t Decide Whether You Love It Or You Hate It

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - it's not that I hated it, but I went in with a lot of expectations and thought the book fell a bit flat. I immensely enjoyed reading it, but the characters and world-building were pretty weak and the plot was somewhat predictable for me.

Rachel - A Character That Had Major Character Development

Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites trilogy, for better or worse. I haven't read The Midnight Star yet, but even throughout book 1 and book 2, she changed tremendously. I'm not expecting a happily ever after in book 3 (it's not that kind of series), but I hope she at least finds some peace with herself, since she's gone through so much.

Central Perk - A Book You Go To When You’re Bored

Hmm I don't really reread, but I'd probably go back to Everland by Wendy Spinale if given the chance since I absolutely loved all the POVs and the story and everything about it *heart eyes*

Gunther - A Book You Always Hear About But Never Buy

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- I've heard only good things about this book, but I just haven't picked it up yet. I'm hoping to read more diversely in the upcoming months though, so this book will definitely be on my radar!

“Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat, What Are They Feeding You?” - A Book That Has A Nice Smell

I don't smell books, so I wouldn't know...

“How You Doin’” - A Book Character That You Love So Much

Daniel Sheridan from Something Strange and Deadly <3

We Were On A Break - A Book That You Stopped Reading For Some Reason

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (although I'm finally picking it back up again after too many months!)

November SST: Timekeeper (Review + Giveaway!)

Sunday, November 27, 2016
Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Steampunk/LGBTQIA+
Page Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: November 8, 2016



About Timekeeper (via Goodreads):

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.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.


REVIEW

Timekeeper by Tara Sim was an extremely delightful and imaginative book. Sim's writing style was particularly beautiful—it was so rich and vibrant that I was captivated from page one to the very end.

The world and world-building was probably the strongest aspect of  the book. Timekeeper was absolutely brilliant and definitely had one of the most unique worlds/concepts I've ever read about. From tracing back to the mythology of time every few chapters to the detailed descriptions of how time functions, how timekeepers' powers work, and the lives of the clock spirits, I felt truly transported into the world.

Danny may not have stood out to me as a protagonist overall, but he was an admirable and lovable character that I just wanted to give a hug constantly throughout the book. What struck me the most about him was how real and relatable he was. And yes, this did stand out to me more than other protagonists of other books. He was flawed, but he was a good person. A lot of characters seem to always know what to do in any situation, but he didn't and he realized it. And I kind of loved him for that. Were there times when I wanted to hiss at him to stay focused? A few. But did I still love him anyway? Absolutely.

I felt like a lot of the characters were pretty much secondary. Although some played more pivotal roles than others, the focus was mainly on Danny. Which I'm fine with, but I would have enjoyed diving deeper into some of the other characters' personalities and histories. Sim did briefly touch on a lot of their backstories, but I would have liked to see more interactions between them.

Speaking of interactions, I'd like to talk about the romance. I thought Danny and Colton were ADORABLE together, and I wanted them to be happy and unhurt and never live in fear and have a happily ever after, but at the same time, it didn't quite work for me. I loved Colton, and I know as a clock spirit he didn't have many opportunities to explore and grow since he was stuck in his tower for who knows how long, but I disliked his lack of a history. A lot of the faith that I put into my OTPs has to do with the couple's individual personalities, pasts, and growth, and that was hard to see in Colton (and thus their relationship).

Overall, I really enjoyed Timekeeper. While some minor characters fell flat for me, I believe there are so many opportunities for them to become stronger as the series progresses and Tara Sim already has a great foundation for that development. In addition, there were so many other amazing details throughout the book. Sim's writing was absolutely exquisite and her world-building was equally as extraordinary, and I cannot wait to see what she will explore in the rest of the series.

My Rating: 3.75 stars





About the Author:


Tara Sim can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. TIMEKEEPER is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, or check out her website tarasim.com for fun extras.


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The Sun is Also a Star (Mini ARC Review)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Page Length: 384 pages
Format: ARC won at B-Fest (Barnes & Noble's Teen Book Festival)
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press



About The Sun is Also a Star (via Goodreads):

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon was an incredible read. The characters felt so palpable and relevant, and I really connected Natasha and Daniel, on both the personal and more global level (especially after the events of the last few months). Although I do not believe in love at first sight, Yoon made me want to believe in it.

The series of chance encounters leading to Natasha and Daniel's love was a bit improbable, but Yoon's overall execution of the story was superb. She plunged deep into the character's minds and hearts and drew out a wealth of thoughts and feelings throughout the story, regarding not only the romance, but also family love and second chances. I fell in love with the characters and loved seeing them grow and develop into the people they wanted to be, rather than who they were expected to be.

The family dynamics and relationships in this book were definitely strained, and it was a bit painful to read about them, but I appreciated Yoon's honesty in conveying the relationships between parents, their children, and siblings, as well as expressing the mindset of many people regarding inter-racial relationships even today.

All in all, The Sun is Also a Star was an earnest and beautifully written story about love, loss, and serendipity. It was about taking chances, not letting hate win, and learning to empathize with those we don't know as well as those we love with all our hearts.

My Rating: 4 stars