Friday, March 15, 2019

Cover Lust: A Lite Too Bright by Samuel Miller

Cover Lust is something that I do every week where I feature a book cover that I absolutely love!

For fans of literary classics such as The Catcher in the Rye and The Perks of Being a Wallflower comes a stirring new thought-provoking novel from debut author Sam Miller about a loss shrouded in mystery with twists and turns down every railway.

Arthur Louis Pullman the Third is on the verge of a breakdown. He’s been stripped of his college scholarship, is losing his grip on reality, and has been sent away to live with his aunt and uncle.

It’s there that Arthur discovers a journal written by his grandfather, the first Arthur Louis Pullman, an iconic Salinger-esque author who went missing the last week of his life and died hundreds of miles away from their family home. What happened in that week—and how much his actions were influenced by his Alzheimer’s—remains a mystery.

But now Arthur has his grandfather’s journal—and a final sentence containing a train route and a destination.

So Arthur embarks on a cross-country train ride to relive his grandfather’s last week, guided only by the clues left behind in the dementia-fueled journal. As Arthur gets closer to uncovering a sad and terrible truth, his journey is complicated by a shaky alliance with a girl who has secrets of her own and by escalating run-ins with a dangerous Pullman fan base.

Arthur’s not the only one chasing a legacy—and some feel there is no cost too high for the truth.

 Why did I pick this cover? 
The first time I saw this cover I just had to know more about the book. There are so many little details in this cover and I love the overall illustrated style. It has that optical illusion of the man and I love how the colors are both bright and dark at the same time (if that makes any sense). It gives a dreamlike quality to the image and really made me pick up this book.
What are your thoughts? Tell me in the comments!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday: The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Waiting on Wednesday (or Can't Wait Wednesday) is a weekly meme, hosted by Wishful Endings, where you talk about whatever book you are IMPATIENTLY WAITING for!

This week I am waiting for...
The Kingdom

Welcome to the Kingdom... where 'Happily Ever After' isn't just a promise, but a rule. 

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species--formerly extinct--roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful "princesses" engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time... love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana's memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty--and what it truly means to be human. 
Release Date: May 28th, 2019

Why am I waiting?
Ever since I read The Catastrophic History of You and Me in 2013 I've been waiting for another book by Jess Rothenberg. Now there is finally one coming out and it sounds fantastic!
What book are you waiting for this week?

Monday, March 11, 2019

REVIEW: Guardian of Secrets by Brenda Drake

Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2)
Saving him could end her world.

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.

Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Maybe. If she survives.

NOTICE: This book is a sequel. I will refrain from spoilers but look here for my review of Book One.

When I first read Thief of Lies, I was disappointed. Not enough library jumping, too much insta-love. There is less inst-love in this book, but I still had difficulty getting into this book.

We jump right back into the world of the Library Jumpers (which I am still disappointed by the lack of books). My main issue with this is that I did not remember much about the first book. All I remember was that I hated the romance. The world that Brenda Drake has created is very impressive. I love the creative use of magic and the magical society she created. But after more than a year, I couldn't remember the world clearly and having magical words thrown around at me just confused me. Eventually, I was able to understand the plot, sort of, but even at the very end I had to be reminded of things.

Gia as a character, I feel, is growing. She's no longer the confused girl thrown into this world. She was still thrown off by things in this world, but she was stronger and had a better understanding. I really like her relationships with the characters within this book. Her friends are so supportive and she is so supportive of them. Within this book, I especially noticed her friendship with Nick, because they share a prophecy together, but she is so close to many people within this book and these friendships are just so nice.

Okay, now for the romance. I hated the romance in the last book. I honestly believe that Gia "fell" for Arik because he is hot and due to the situation. That's it. I don't see any love between them and I do not support the relationship. This book supported my feelings on the romance. Besides being Sentinels, Gia and Arik have nothing in common. In fact, Arik doesn't even like to read! ARIK DOESN'T LIKE TO READ! I cannot fully ship Gia with a character that doesn't like to read. So when issues arose in their relationship, I rejoiced.
Now, Bastien... I am fully on Team Bastien. He's sweet and he's always there for Gia! Also, HE LIKES TO READ! TAKE THAT, ARIK! Bastien is more of a character in this book and I loved it!

Overall, I know I'm complaining a lot, but I did like this book. The world is very interesting, I just couldn't remember the details from the last book. Gia is a great MC, but she honestly needs to get her crap together and FORGET ABOUT ARIK! I will be reading the next book! I need to make sure that Gia picks Bastien (and, you know, saves the magical world, but come on. Bastien). Though I will lose all respect for Gia if she picks Arik (HE DOESN'T EVEN LIKE TO READ BOOKS! I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!!!).

I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

New Releases in YA! (March 10th-16th)

Every week I list all (or almost all) of the YA books (and the occasional MG) that are coming out within that week!
Here's what you get to look forward to this week:
P.S. Click on the book's cover for the Goodreads page!

Did I miss any books?
What books, if any, do you plan to read?

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Stacking the Shelves! (March 10th 2019)

Hosted by Tynga's ReviewsStacking the Shelves is where all the booknerds can post about the lovely (or not so lovely) books that we've read, acquired, or discovered in the past week.

This has been a bit of a nerve-wracking week. I interviewed for a job but did not get it. I've also been very very very anxiously awaiting news about a program I applied for. I haven't heard yet and I'm very scared about what the answer will be. Fingers crossed that I get good news this week...

Here's my week in books! Click on the cover to view the book on Goodreads!

Books I've Read This Week

Currently Reading

Checked Out From Library

Books I Bought
I got my preorder in! I haven't gotten a chance to start it yet because I have so many library books checked out!

Books Reviewed
(Covers linked to reviews)

How was your week?

Friday, March 8, 2019

Cover Lust: Traveler by L.E. DeLano

Cover Lust is something that I do every week where I feature a book cover that I absolutely love!

Traveler (Traveler, #1)

A teen writer discovers that every mirror is a portal into an alternate version of her life in this romantic YA fantasy by author L.E. DeLano.

Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all teacakes, pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.

 Why did I pick this cover? 
I love how there are different shades of blue within the cover and how it creates an almost starry effect, which I'm a sucker for in book covers. I also like how the title follows the spiral and how the spiral draws my eyes throughout the cover. It does say time travel more than parallel universes, probably because of the ship (which does make sense for the book), but I find it to be a pretty cover.
What are your thoughts? Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Cover vs. Cover: Venom by Fiona Paul

This week's pick is...

12534178VS.  16101159 VS.29081347
Hardcover                      Paperback                    New Ebook
I really don't like how the covers progressed for this book. The first cover is great. There is a focus on the girl's beautiful mask and you can tell it is historical fiction. The paperback isn't terrible, I like the colors, but I dislike how it wants to show there is a romance in this book. It shows the reader that the book takes place in Venice, but it's a pretty generic cover. Now, the last cover goes in that direction even more. It makes it more obvious that it's a romance and even more obvious where it takes place. I don't like the last cover at all. I can let it pass a little I guess because I think it was republished independently with that cover, so they maybe weren't able to create a perfect cover, but if I saw that cover in a store, I would not be picking it up. None of the covers really show that the book has mystery elements, but overall, the first cover is the best.
  Final Verdict: Hardcover
What do you think? Give me your thoughts on which cover is the best!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday: Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Waiting on Wednesday (or Can't Wait Wednesday) is a weekly meme, hosted by Wishful Endings, where you talk about whatever book you are IMPATIENTLY WAITING for!

This week I am waiting for...

Maybe This Time
One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year's Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn't so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places
Release Date: July 9th, 2019

Why am I waiting?
Even though I have not been wowed by some of Kasie West's most recent books, I still always want to automatically add them to my to-read list. They're always great feel-good reads for when I'm tired of all the stress and death in fantasy novels.
What book are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

REVIEW: Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

Send Me a Sign

Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s a question her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death.

This is a difficult book to review. I was very much invested in this book, but the characters in the book are not really likable and made some dumb decisions. Yet, they are all dealing with a difficult situation.

This book is about Mia. She and her friends have plans for the summer. Except Mia has been getting large bruises lately and a visit to the doctor tells her that Mia has leukemia. Instead of getting a tan this summer, she will be spending time in a hospital getting treatments. Mia does not want to tell her friends what is happening. She tells them that she is spending the summer in Connecticut, but when school starts and she is still sick, she keeps piling on the lies. All the while, Ryan, the boy she occasionally hooked up with, wants to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Then there's Gyver, her neighbor and one of the few people who know her secret and who she has grown closer to during her treatments.

This book did keep me interested throughout the book in such a way that I did not want to put it down. Part of this was hope that Mia will see this through and hope that she will finally tell everyone what was happening. Mia keeping her cancer a secret was a big problem of mine. I really wanted her to tell everyone because I knew that the longer she went without telling, the worse the outcome would be. Mia bottling up her secret was a stupid decision and it frustrated me. Part of my frustration was that Mia seemed to think that it was her choice to do this when in fact her mother was to blame. Mia's mother was passive-aggressive throughout the book, she would say what she thought Mia should do and Mia felt like she could not disagree with her mother. It was her mother's idea to not tell Mia's friends and when time went by and Mia wanted to tell her friends, her mother would convince her once again to not tell them.

Even though I had trouble with Mia's character, I place most of my blame of her unlikable character to her mother who influenced so much of Mia's behavior. This is why this book is complicated to review because even though many of the characters were unlikable, I can't really judge them because they are also in a really tough situation. Mia has her mother influencing her while Mia is also trying to keep up normal pretenses and undergo treatments. She also has to deal with the idea that she might not survive this. She keeps most of this bottled up because she does not have friends, for the most part, to rely on. She has Gyver and, later, Ryan, but she can't even always depend on them.

Which brings me to Mia's friends. [highlight to view spoiler] I wish I could say that when they found out about Mia that they were supportive of Mia, but they weren't. When her best friend learns she drops Mia as a friend. Great friend, right? She treats Mia terribly after that in such a way that I couldn't really understand how they could've have been friends in the first place. This is where the unlikable and character morals come in again. I can understand that her friends are hurt that Mia told others before them and that backing away was their own way of coping with the fact that Mia might die, but there are ways to be much better friends. I won't excuse their behavior, at all, but this is such a difficult situation and none of the characters really knew how to react to this kind of trauma. [end of spoiler]

There is also a slight love triangle in this book. This was odd to me at first because I don't typically see love triangles in contemporary YA, but this book was published during the heyday of love triangles. There was not as much of a focus on romance in this book per se because Mia is having enough trouble as is, but she does struggle with some feelings. What I did like is that both guys were there for Mia and tried to help her out. Neither one was perfect, but everyone in this book (and in real life) have their faults.

Overall, even though I struggled with some of the characters, I did like the fact that it portrayed people having faults and trying to help understand the difficult situation they are in. Many of the characters, in fact, grew and changed throughout the book. I did think this was a great book even though it deals with tough subjects. This is the first book I read by this author and I may look into her newer titles someday.

I hereby give this book
3.5 Stars
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing.

Monday, March 4, 2019

REVIEW: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill


Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force. 

This was an okay read. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

This book focuses on Britta. Her father was recently murdered and since her mother was Shaerdan, Britta is considered illegitimate and has no claims to her father's property. Starving, Britta hunts on the king's land, but is caught and is set to hang. But she can be free to live and gain rights to her father's property if she tracks down her father's killer. The problem: They tell her that Cohen, the boy she once loved, killed her father. Did he really kill her father? And could she really trade his trade for hers?

This book is set up to be a pretty awesome fantasy, but it just didn't meet the mark. I admit, the ideas were all there and I do think that Summerhill did a pretty great job on worldbuilding, but it just wasn't as awesome as I thought it would be. It's a fine fantasy, but it didn't feel like anything new. Also, it was just so predictable.

My main problem was with the characters. Everyone seems to think Britta is a badass, but she just felt like the average YA heroine. Sure, she could hunt and whatnot, but she wasn't amazing. Cohen was also just like every YA love interest. Frankly, I really didn't care about him. I cared a little for Britta because she had a hard life, but Cohen just served as the love interest for most of the book.

Which brings me to the romance. I did not like the romance at all. I didn't hate it, but it was just pointless. Britta spends the entire book thinking about Cardboard Cohen! Shouldn't you stop questioning your feelings and focus on more important things, Britta? Cohen, of course, is your typical love interest. Pushes Britta away to "protect her". Enough of that crap! Anyway, I was sick of the conflicting feelings between them because we all knew, right when we found out that Cohen used to be friends with Britta, that they would end up together. Frankly, I think I would've have enjoyed this book more without the romance.

While the ending was slightly predictable, the very very VERY end was quite interesting. It makes me very curious about the next book. Though, I am worried that there will be a love triangle.

Overall, I liked this book but I was expected more. I wanted a unique fantasy, not a typical YA romance.

I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it.