Book Review

Book Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Sally Thorne
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: August 9th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Nemesis (n.) 
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

ASDFGHJKL; SO CUTE I HAVE NO WORDS.

I get it. I TOTALLY GET THE HYPE for this book. Y’all. This & Josh and Hazel in the last few weeks? I’m on a contemporary romance roll.

My favorite portions of a romance book is the banter. I LIVE FOR BANTER. Witty and amusing lines that make me laugh and say: you know you love each other. Lucy and Josh were top notch at this. I thought it was clever and cute to have them play games the entire book as they really got to know one another.

The sexual tension was off the charts. It was so intense and all I could do was flip page after page (causing me to stay up til 2:30 AM…) to find out what would happen next. This story immediately grabbed my attention and it was easy to keep going.

I obsessed over the fact that Josh has loved Lucy from day one. Saying he had one more weekend to win her over? Y’ALL *cue hand over heart, smitten look*. Never being the nice guy? IT’S OK JOSH. LUCY’S GOT YOU. The way she threw down to back Josh was a solid way to put a cap on some things.

One thing that did bother me was Lucy’s obsession with how good Josh looked. She was relentless in commenting on it and it got a bit old. I also did not need to keep hearing about his serial killer eyes. That was a tad weird. I get it, he’s gorgeous, but I felt that could have been dialed down (especially because she commented to herself how she was saying this too often!?) Josh was also a biiiiit intense at times. Lucy would comment on being afraid of him, and I don’t think anyone should feel that way about a partner.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult contemporary romance
  • Language: quite a bit
  • Romance: kisses, innuendo, some almost love scenes, and a detailed love scene

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Book Review

Book Review: Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 592 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: June 9th, 2009
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Warbreaker is the story of two sisters who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn’t like his job, and the immortal who’s still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago. 

Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.

By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery; and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.

BOOK TWO COMES OUT WHEN?

Note: I listened to this on Audible (not an ad, just an FYI). It was narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan. Unfortunately, I didn’t love her. She did the female voices totally fine, but it with trying to do the male voices that was iffy.

This book did take me a little to get into (though, I’m learning that might be the case anytime I listen to an audio book). It has a SUPER complicated magic system that took me a minute to figure out. Once I did, everything was fine and things made sense. And now I’d love color-changing hair, k thanks universe.

I absolutely adored all of these characters. Even the evil ones. They were somehow lovable (for at least a time) and I enjoyed everyone’s personality. Vivenna seriously had the worst time and I felt so bad for her! She got the short end of the stick every. single. time. Til about the end. But I’m really feeling her vibe with Vasher, so YES. SOMEONE GIVE ME THE SEQUEL.

Siri was a bit frustrating, but I did appreciate that she didn’t take anything lying down. Not letting the God King, Susebron, frighten her (or any of the priests). Y’all, I loved Susebron. This precious King, DIDN’T KNOW WHAT SEX WAS. And I burst out laughing. That might be the best little nugget in a book I’ve read in awhile. Their relationship progressed in the sweetest way. You could really see them fall in love and when Susebron really shows his godliness, you could hear me clapping outside. YOU TELL ‘EM GOD KING.

Can we give a shoutout to Lightsong? I should have seen his purpose from a mile away, but didn’t realize it til after it happened *whoops*. I thought he was a great comic relief type of character and really gave some humanity to the gods.

Sanderson yet again weave this crazy beautiful tale filled with world-building and long planned story lines. The last few chapters are always the best part because you can’t help but be like ooooooh over and over as it all falls into place. I love his writing.

Overall audience notes:

  • Epic fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses, an implied love scene
  • Violence: knives, poison, torture, war

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday.

On the docket for the day is Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books. I feel like I don’t have any crazy things for books, but I’ve done a few ridiculous (totally warranted if you ask me) things because I love all the books.

Check out my list below!

Stayed up all night.

One of the most obvious (I think about every one of us has done this!) is the fact I have pulled many all-nighters because there was no way I was putting the book down. My wake-up now depends on a toddler so things can get dicey with risking any late night binge reads.

Skip school.

You heard it hear first, I have missed school to read. Was it for a class that I could skip that day? Yes. I have too much anxiety to miss a class that had anything important on the radar.

Took a day off of work.

I may or may not have asked for a day off when a book I HAD TO GET that day (i.e. ACOWAR was the last book I did this for haha). Don’t worry, it was way in advance and I truly didn’t take days off.

Hidden from family.

When a book has consumed my time I have been known to disappear. This may be to my closet, or locked in a bathroom. My husband has found me in an odd spot a time or too.

Called in a faraway favor.

My most recent outrageous thing was calling in a favor. My brother in law lives lives literally 2,000 miles away. I saw that Cinda Williams Chima was going to be at a B&N next door. So what did I do? Asked if he would go for me. And what did he do? Y’ALL HE WENT. I NOW HAVE A SIGNED BOOK BY HER (Flamecaster if you’re curious). I’m forever grateful.

Purposely found a reason to keep driving.

I don’t have much of an opportunity to listen to audiobooks when I have my toddler talking to me all day (not complaining, just a fact haha). So when we’re in the car running errands, that’s when I listen. I often will take a slightly longer way home to finish a chapter or listen a little bit longer.

Paid insane shipping to get a bookcase.

I don’t have an IKEA close enough to me to pick up furniture. I am in love with their Billy Bookcases and once I got one, had to have more. Guys, there shipping is CRAZY. I mean, I get it, it’s a large item, but still, holy cow. The shipping is as much as the bookcase. I still paid for it though, because I wanted matching bookcases that badly. WHOOPS.

Prolonged a run.

When I’m hoping to have an easy, simple run, I’ll listen to an audiobook to keep my pace in check (music gets me way too hyped). Like with driving, if I need a little more time, my run can stretch out longer than I originally planned. More endorphins, right?

Planned my day around getting event tickets.

Granted, I’ve only been to one event at this time in my life, BUT STILL, it was chaos getting tickets. I was trying to get SJM Kingdom of Ash Tour tickets. I commandeered my sister (in another state) to get on at the same time to try to get VIP tickets. While that didn’t happen I did get regular tickets!! (Note: this event sold out in 20 minutes, for real).

Make rules for my personal library.

I’m willing to share all of my books, but heaven help me, I have rules before you’re allowed to borrow. I want my books to come back in one piece you know?! I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

Have you done any of these things? What’s the most outrageous things you’ve done for a book? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary (+romance)
Length: 384 pages
Author: Christine Riccio
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Expected Release Date: September 18th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From one of the most followed booktubers today, comes Again, but Better, a story about second chances, discovering yourself, and being brave enough to try again.

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Note: Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books, and Netgalley for the e-ARC and opportunity to read Again, but Better. All opinions are my own.

I HAVE A LOT OF THOUGHTS.

I was really nervous going into this book. I had heard time and again that Shane is essentially a fictionalized version of Christine. I have only seen a few videos of hers and honestly, you can’t miss the similarities. I tried my best to keep my bias about this at bay (which is why I have maintained a 4* rating), but it did sway me on the character originality. I luckily don’t know her channel that well which helped me to overall enjoy this book.

This is what I consider a book version of a TV Hallmark movie. We have the girl trying to find herself, a cute boy, some traveling and a hint of magic. I thought this worked well for this debut rom-com. I loved the wanderlust aspect and about packed my bags while reading because it gave me the travel bug (and we’ve established, I hate flying).

Shane is definitely…quirky. She struggles with social anxiety (my life). I was able to connect with most of her inner dialogue about deciding what to do in a given situation. Putting yourself out there is hard. I liked that this was in a college-aged setting because a lot of self-discovery happens in this part of our lives.

Now, while I understood her inner dialogue most of the time, it got annoying at other times. It was extremely repetitive and a little sporadic. It was too much inside her mind. I like when a book generally cuts some of that rambling down so we get what we need for being in their thoughts. This felt as if every single thought was put to the page.

I adored Pilot (hate his name though *shrugs*). He was cute and sensitive. I loved most of the banter between he and Shane. They were simple and sweet and reminded me of Anna and the French Kiss. The one real iffy thing I didn’t appreciate was this gray area cheating. He’s definitely in a relationship when things fire up with Shane (that even lead to a kiss at one point).

This book had its struggles. It’s a booktuber turned debut author. Again, but Better reads that way. At times it was naive and I think over time her future books will have a more mature sound. There were absolutely way too many pop culture references. I got so tired of reading about HP, Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball, Angry Birds, etc. We don’t need all of that to understand the change in time periods.

I wasn’t expecting the magic element. It was peculiar, but once I’ve considered the entire novel, makes sense. The novel needed this change of pace, and I enjoyed seeing the characters in a new light. I thought they had grown a bit and were more understanding of the situation. I can’t imagine we all, at one time or another, haven’t considered starting something over.

Is it funny that I liked that the parents were alive and present? I feel in a lot of YA they aren’t often represented (or they are already killed off). While this can add some character complexity, I think there was plenty present by having Shane’s parents alive and in her life. I really found this a quick and easy read. I flipped the pages continually and realized I liked the story at its core. I really appreciated watching Shane find what her passion is and seeking out how to have that continually in her life.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fiction with romance
  • Language: some, not heavily present
  • Romance: some kisses and make-outs, an almost love scene, a skipped over night spent together
  • Violence: a slap
  • Trigger warnings: gray area cheating (which does lead to a kiss), assault (forced and unwanted kiss)

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Award

Blog Award: Sunshine Blogger

I was nominated by Becky’s Book Blog! She is so sweet and I have loved following her posts. Make sure you’re following her too!

I am so happy to receive this nomination. And I know it’s been awhile since I was tagged, but I got to it! It was fun to answer all of these questions. Hope you enjoy.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

How Does It Work?

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

One. If you could have a mythical creature as a pet, which would it be?

DRAGON. Oh my goodness. I LOVE dragons.

Two. What is your favorite book relationship?

Feysand.

Three. What is your favorite bookish trope, and why?

Enemies to lovers! This never gets old to me. I could read about it all the time.

Four. Who is your favorite minor/side character in a book?

I’d say probably Cassian from ACOTAR. Though this changes on a regular basis. I also love Kenji from the Shatter Me series. I clearly have an affinity for sass.

Five. Whats a song that you listen to all the time?

This changes every few days, but at the moment of writing this: Hunger by Florence + The Machine. It is MY JAM.

Six. Whats your most anticipated read of 2019?

Probably Finale (Caraval #3), or Vow of Thieves. Crescent City (SJM) was mine, but as most of us found out recently, we have to wait til 2020. WHY.

Seven. If you could live in the setting of any book, which would you pick?

Velaris. I want to live in the City of Starlight. I sleep so little anyways, lets make the most of it!

Eight. If you could have any magical ability which would you pick?

Oh my goodness. I have no idea. I think invisibility would be cool! Or just innate powers in general. Maybe some mind stuff. Flying. Any would be really awesome.

Nine. Who is your all time favorite author?

Sarah J. Maas, Brandon Sanderson, Leigh Bardugo, Stephanie Meyer, Mary E. Pearson, Cinda Williams Chima. Goodness gracious I could go on and on.

Ten. Whats your go to TV series?

FRIENDS. The Office. Parks & Rec. New Girl. How I Met Your Mother.

I’m a big fan of funny short episodes of things. I seriously rotate through these yearly. Currently I’m watching Friends again.

Eleven. What initially drew you to blogging?

I wanted an outlet for creativity. I was really suffering from postpartum depression (and living in New Mexico – which I absolutely hated). I was miserable and decided to give this a chance. I’ll forever be grateful it helped!

The Reading Chemist || Tonkin About Books || The Caffeinated Reader || Aurora Librialis || Bookishly Rebecca || A Book. A Thought. || The Writerly Way

Okay, so I only tagged 7 and I’m only doing 7 questions. Feeling rebellious today, so feel rebellious to not do this tag if you don’t want too!

Here are my questions:

  • What was the last book you raved about?
  • What is your least favorite trope?
  • What do you like to do for fun (besides reading)?
  • What kind of books are you drawn to during summer?
  • Who is a bookish couple that you just don’t like?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What is one of your blogging goals for 2019?

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Book Review

Book Review: Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5) by Laini Taylor with Jim Di Bartolo (Illustrator)

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Novella
Length: 256 pages
Author: Laini Taylor with Jim Di Bartolo (Illustrator)
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 12th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana’s fantastical first date—as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Originally published as an ebook, this new print edition will include breathtaking black and white illustrations, plus bonus content in a gorgeous package perfect for new and current fans of the series.

ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE.

Wanted to add a quick review for this book.

It was a short and very sweet novella about some of my favorite side characters, Zuzana and Mik! I never read this even though I finished the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series a few years ago. I’m usually anti-novella, but I had heard that this was precious and it did not disappoint.

I loved getting this little insight to their first date. I loved how invested Mik was in the treasure hunt and even did his own thing to contribute. That made my heart flutter.

There’s also a lot of drawings in this! It was beautifully done and actually enhanced the story. It was like seeing inside their minds in the best way. It was a magical journey (and seriously a perfectly romantic setting).

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy novella
  • Language: Jacka** used a few times
  • Romance: a kiss

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Book Review

Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2019

Howdy and hello!

Did March really already happen? Because I definitely thought I had a few more days to go. It sometimes amazes me how long a day feels, and how short the month feels.

Y’all, it was a great month of reading! I had a lot of 4/5 stars and I really can’t complain about too much about any of these books. I especially loved the Contemporary Romances I read. The spring vibe got to me and I’m so happy that I found some good ones!

OH OH OH OH OH!

I’m also hosting a giveaway (starting today) for my US followers! Please check out my Instagram to see how to enter. It’s for a $20 Amazon gift card (sent via email, I know we could all use more book money!).

Note: I’m going to use the acronym RTC to define review to come.

Favorite book this month: The Hating Game/Josh and Hazel

Least favorite book this month: Horse Soldiers

Have you read any of these? Do you have a favorite contemporary romance I should check out? Let’s talk in the comments!

Instagram || Goodreads