Category Archives: Uncategorized

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN *GIVEAWAY*!

Standard

turtles

Hello, everyone! We have some very exciting news. Nicole and I will be hosting our first giveaway on our blog. We’ve had this blog for over three years now, and I think it’s about time we did this. We’ll be giving away a brand new copy of John Green’s newest young adult novel: Turtles All the Way Down.

The rules are simple. Just follow us on our blog, and submit your blog’s name onto Rafflecopter. There are also two other chances to enter, which are following our Twitter account, and commenting your favorite book and why you think everyone should read it. So you have plenty of chances to get this book!

This is a U.S. only giveaway! I’m really sorry about that. Someday in the future we’ll do an international one. This giveaway starts on 11/12 at 12:00 am U.S. Eastern time, and ends 11/19 at 12:00 am U.S. Eastern time. We’ll make a separate post announcing the winner.

So, good luck!

Advertisements

The Ghost of Cutler Creek by Cynthia DeFelice

Standard

640096

“Here we go again. It sounds as if Allie Nichols, Ghost Magnet, is back in action.”

The third book in DeFelice’s mystery novels about eleven year old Allie Nichols. As with previous books, another ghost needs some help, and they go to her for help. School is ending for the summer, there’s a new kid in town, and she has a summer job of looking after her teacher’s dog. I don’t want to spoil anything but dogs play an important part of this book. I’ll leave you to make the inference about how they would be involved. I know that can be very upsetting for some people.

The mystery in this book is pretty straight forward in this one, but I still enjoyed it. I like how Allie is getting used to doing this, and how she learns from each case. Also, Michael, her little brother, is becoming a bigger part of the story, and I find that very interesting to watch unfold.

As always I zipped through this book. I gave it five stars. I simply find whenever I’m in a rut with reading or in life, picking up these books will pep me up a little bit.

Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Standard

13455782

All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.

The Shatter Me series follows Juliette, a girl whose touch can be lethal. She’s been locked up for almost a year because she murdered someone when the book first starts. While she was locked away, the world went to shit. It’s a proper dystopian society. Throughout this book, and again, the whole series, she has to learn about and choose what to do with this power.

The first thing everyone talks about with these books is the writing style. It’s whimsical, full of metaphors that don’t really make sense, and cut outs like this. I don’t like the strikethroughs, but thankfully as the series continue, they decrease until they are completely gone. I didn’t understand a lot of Juliette’s rambles, but I do understand they are there to show how scattered her mental state is. It made it quicker to read though which I really liked.

One of the main overarching dramas of this series is the love triangle between Juliette, Warner, and Adam. It is incredibly frustrating to read, but it isn’t the typical love triangle. I really think Mafi’s main thought when starting these books was to have something different, and she succeeded in that.  For those more into the romance, they will like this part of the books more. For readers like me, it was simply frustrating.

For this first book it took me maybe two years to finish. I think I had given up on it, but then later, I wanted to cross off some books from my currently reading list. So I finished it. I gave this book two stars.

1362315017331518

Time goes on even when we do not.

So you are probably wondering why I continued this series, right? Well, with the news of the of Restore Me I read the excerpt that was released, and I liked it. I was feeling down at the time, and it made me smile, so I texted Isis, who loves the series, and we decided to read the rest of the series together. So we started off again with Destroy Me, the first novella in the series. 

Destroy Me is set between Shatter Me and Unravel Me. It’s set in Warner’s perspective. I can’t say much. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I enjoyed it a lot better than I did the first books. I gave it three stars at least.

Fracture Me is the second novella. It’s set between Unravel Me and Ignite Me. It’s from Adam’s perspective. I gave it four stars.

I usually find novellas to be useless,  but these add so much to the series. Very important plot and character development happens. If you don’t read these, you’ll be missing out.

1310408013188676

I am no longer afraid of fear, and I will not let it rule me. Fear will learn to fear me.

The novellas do something interesting to the rest of the series. While it makes it more interesting, it also makes part of the books frustrating. Stuff is reveled in it that the readers will know, but Juliette will not. And it takes a while for everything to come out so that gets frustrating. 

Juliette’s character development is great. From the beginning of the first book to the ending of the last book, she grows so much. I didn’t love her, and I still don’t honestly, as much as others do. Which made me feel really guilty for a lot of the series since people always said she was like the ultimate feminist icon. She’s very dramatic, and so very self centered. It lasts pretty much the whole series. It gets called out by other characters, and she always has this revelation about how they are so right and how could she be acting this way. But then she continues to act how she was before. Pretty much every time she opened her mouth I was texting Isis about how annoyed I was with her. It never really ended throughout the books.

The world building in the series is bad. Nothing is explained deeply at all. I had so many questions and the books didn’t even attempt to answer them. It can be explained away with Juliette being so self centered, but that’s what I wanted and never got. Juliette’s powers still has plot holes in them. The world is never explained. 

The side characters were what really got me with this series. My favorite character out of all of them Kenji. He’s the best. It’s sad that Juliette is never interested in branching out more, because in the third book where there’s a small little group all the time, that’s where I loved these books. All of my annoyance would fade, and I really enjoyed myself in those scenes.

I gave Unravel Me three stars and Ignite Me four stars. That gives the entire series an average of 3.2 stars for me. I am going to read Restore Me when it comes out, and I have high hopes for it. I think she’ll fix what was missing from the original series. I did see Mafi mentioning adding more characters which will have more diversity. There might also be a Kenji novella. Both will be much appreciated. Most importantly, I hope for well fleshed out world building.

In the end, I find it hard to end this review. Can I really recommend it to others? I did finish the series, and plan on continuing it, but it’s not at all similar to other books I would recommend. Those didn’t cause me to go on long rants, or frustrate me to no end. Those I appreciated while reading them, not as the fifth book was ending. But I spent weeks reading them so they deserved a review even if it’s taken me three days to finish it. Even as I’m typing I still find my feelings of these books to be very complicated, but I hope I explained things as clearly as I could without going into any spoilers.

 

5 Star TBR Predictions

Standard

I was catching up on Youtube videos, and came across this one and thought it would make a nice post so that’s what we are doing today. These are five books from each of us that we still need to read that we think will end up being five star books.

Isis:

38462

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin – I’ve read some of James Baldwin nonfiction in the past, and his writing has resonated with me a lot. I think he was a fascinating person, and I’m really eager to read some of his fiction too. All I know about this book is that it’s about a closeted gay man who has a girlfriend, and a secret lover. I’ve been dreading reading this simply because I fear a sad ending, but I still think I will love it.

7167271

Mr. Monster by Dan Wells – I read the first book in this series, I Am Not a Serial Killer a few years ago, and still haven’t stopped thinking about it. I finally have the next two books, and I’m ready to get back into the series again. I have no doubt I will adore this sequel.

25014114

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera – I loved More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. I know a few people who didn’t enjoy that book, but loved this one. I think the odds are looking good for me. I’m excited to get back into Adam’s books. He writes realistic characters in serious situations. I’m ready to find my new favorite book.

12067

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – All I know about this book is that there are angels in it. It’s also set in the end of the world. If you know me at all, you’ll know that those are two of my favorite topics to read about. This book sounds like a wild ride and I can’t wait to get to it. I think I’ll be reading it soon. 

15724396

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summers by Rick Riordan – Since Nicole has praised this book countless times, but rarely explained the summary, I have no idea what it really is about. But it looks fun and lighthearted, and I feel like it has potential to become another favorite of mine. 

Nicole:

23281892

I’ve read six of Ursula Vernon’s other series, Dragonbreath. I’ve loved each of them. So I am sure that Harriet the Invincible will be as equally entertaining.

19161852 

I’ve talked so much about wanting to read The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin on here and I still haven’t done it. That’s pretty much because I’ve hyped this up so much in my head that I’m scared it won’t live up to my expectations. I’ve heard so much about Jemisin herself that I already want to read all of her books, and I’ve never heard one bad thing said about this series. I’m not even sure what’s about exactly.

 16115612

I also haven’t read And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini yet because it makes me nervous even when I think it’ll be amazing. I have no idea what it is about, but I’ve read The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by the same author. He deals with pretty serious situations, and I tend to shy away from really sad books. I will get the guts to read this eventually though.

6976

I’ve read Sue Monk Kidd’s other book The Secret Life of Bees, and loved it. So even if I don’t know anything about this one, I expect I will love it. 

16131107

The magic system in The Black Prism sounds really cool. It’s basically the colors all have different abilities or something like that, and apparently it’s amazing and unique. I love books with magic so that’s all I needed to know when I saw this one on sale. I knew I had to snatch it up since the book was never in the library.

Spook-a-thon TBR

Standard

Image result for halloween gifs

October is here, and I have yet to read any of the spooky books I wanted to read. In order to try to fix this, I’m joining the Spook-a-thon from October 16th (today) to the 22nd. It’s hosted by BooksandLaLa Bookerly and Paige’s Pages.

Challenge 1: Read a thriller

33984056

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena. I have no idea what it is about, but it’s the group book for this read-a-thon. I put it on hold at my library, and it still hasn’t come in yet. Hopefully I will have it in time to finish it, because I really wanted to follow the group book for once. This is supposed to have 305 pages.

Challenge 2: Read a book with a spooky word in the title

1947216

Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan. My spooky word here is killing. Apparently a group of students accidentally kill their English teacher. It sounds like a good time. This is 222 pages.

Challenge 3: Read a book based on a childhood fear

 9947386

Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan. A girl’s family takes in a cousin, and she’s sure her cousin is a witch. This might seem odd since I now love books about witches and magic, but I was terrified of witches when I was younger. I would constantly have nightmares about a witch getting her cauldron ready to eat me. Whenever I woke up from these dreams, I would be convinced she was in the corner of my room. So I would always lay very still, and never open my eyes. I guess hoping she wouldn’t notice me? I’m not sure, but I think that I was scared if I got out of bed to tell my parents that meant she would get me. This book is 226 pages.

Challenge 4: Read a book with orange on the cover

27845924

Little Deaths by Emma Flint. This is a historical thriller that I think will be interesting. It’s about a woman who’s two kids are murdered, and that’s all I know really. This is the closest thing I could find that fit kind of. It’s more of a red in person, but we could call it blood orange for the sake of the challenge.

Image result for blood orange gif

But it’s fine honestly. This is 304 pages.

Challenge 5: Read a book that has a spooky setting

18498558

Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book. This is a book set in a world where if you look at this monster you go mad. I think. Which is a pretty scary place to be. This is 262 pages.

In total that adds up to 1,319 pages. I hope since this is five books instead of the usual seven I will get to them all. 

The Demon Notebook by Erika McGann

Standard

18509660

The Demon Notebook by Erika McGann is the first book in a middle grade quartet. It’s about five middle school friends who find a book with spells and try to test them out. They try eleven on them, but all fail. They move onto trying the Ouija board when finally something happens, but it’s more scary than they anticipated. Now one of them is acting weird, and one by one their spells are happening. And not all of them are harmless. 

I wasn’t expecting much from this book, and that’s a good thing. That doesn’t sound nice, but I mean it in the best way possible. I read this basically one sitting. The writing was simple. The plot was simple. It was fun, but it wasn’t the most complex piece of work. If I was expecting something truly complexly developed or something to scare my socks off, I would have been disappointed. Instead, I enjoyed my time with the story.

The strong friendship between the girls was a surprise for me. I’m so used to reading catty and competitive friendships between girls I don’t expect much anymore. But this group of friends wasn’t like that at all. They cared about each other deeply and equally.

I liked the lesson underneath the book as well. The girls made a mistake, and they did their best to right it. Even when it wasn’t easy or in their best interest at the time.

I gave this book an average three stars. The magic was nice. There were nice action scenes to bring up the tension too. I didn’t find this scary at all. For people looking a book with magic and demons without being creepy, I think this would be the book for them.

 

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

Standard

25117605

One elderly ghost peered over her round spectacles and shook her head before returning to her ghostly knitting.

“In my day, young children didn’t come to the cemeteries trying to raise the dead,” she tsked. “What is this world coming to?”

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh is an own voices middle grade ghost story. Harper and her family move into a new house. There are rumors that it is haunted, and then her little brother, Michael, starts to act strange. Harper has her own mysterious past that she has to deal with because she’s recently lost some of her memories. As events begin to unfold, Harper knows that both her memories and Michael’s odd behavior are somehow tied together.

Harper’s family includes her younger brother that I’ve already mentioned, an older sister, her mom and dad, and an estranged grandmother. This story really touches on the dynamics between all of them in a very natural and real way. I enjoyed the siblings relationships, the love and the fighting. Harper’s relationship with her mom is tough, and it mimics her mother’s relationship with her own. It’s a strong element to this book.

The formatting in this book was a very nice touch. In between normal chapters are pages of Harper’s journal she has to keep on orders from her therapist. In it, she lists things she hates, and has small rants about life. These brief pages added a lot to Harper’s character, and always made me smile.

I had a blast with this book. It was funny yet creepy in all of the right places. The Korean influences threaded throughout make this book stand out compared to the other very similar ghost stories out there. I gave this book five stars. I’m not sure if this is going to be a series, but I hope so.