Tag: Unique Blogger Award (Take 3)

I was nominated by Ginny for the Unique Blogger Award! Thank you so much, Ginny, and please go check out her blog because honestly, her gifs are the best and she reviews so many great books. ❤

If you’re interested, you can see the two previous takes here and here!

RULES:

  • Display the award!
  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  • Answer the questions they’ve written for you!
  • Nominate 8-13 bloggers and give them three questions in the spirit of sharing love and solidarity within our blogging family!

3 questions from Ginny:

It’s the zombie apocalypse and you are alone! If you could have ONE fictional character with you to help you survive, who would it be? Why?
My answer would have to be Mia Corvere from Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight Chronicle. If there’s any character who could keep me safe during the zombie apocalypse, it’s Mia. She probably wouldn’t even bat an eye as she mercilessly slaughtered every last one of them.

What book would you most like to have made into a movie/TV series? Why?
I think that Krista & Becca Ritchie’s Calloway Sisters series would make a really great tv show! A lot happens, it’s already sort of based around the characters filming a tv show, and I would just love to see all of the characters brought to life.

If you could change one thing about your favorite book, what would it be?
This means that I have to have a favorite book, which is so hard! I’ve loved sooo many books over the years that I don’t even know which one I’d choose! I think my favorite book of 2018 (so far) is Starry Eyes, so what would I change about that? Nothing, since it’s perfect?? But really… I might have Zorie not keep her dad’s secret for so long. That’s all I’ve got. I loved that book.


My questions:

  1. What’s the last book you recommended to someone?
  2. What was your favorite book when you were a kid?
  3. What’s a book you have an unpopular opinion about?

I’ve tagged a million and one people recently, so there’s no way I’m going to be able to come up with 8-13 names! I’ll put my three nominees below, but absolutely no pressure! Feel free to ignore me!

Kaleena | Brianna | Jess

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Top Ten Tuesday: Popular books that live up to the hype

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today we’re talking about books that actually live up to the hype, and we all know that I tend to dislike overhyped books. That said, here are ten books that are (or were) frequently hyped in the book blogosphere that I actually really enjoyed.

   

Are there any super-popular books that you would recommend? Did you participate in Top Ten Tuesday today? Feel free to drop your link in the comments and I’ll check it out!

Tag: Justice League

Justice League Tag

Another day, another tag! Thanks to Bibi for tagging me in this one!


THE RULES:

  • Copy these rules onto your post
  • Mention creators of the tag: Angelica and Rosie @TheBookCoverGirls and link to the original post
  • Mention and thank the person who tagged you and link to their post
  • Answer all the questions
  • Since there were originally seven members in the Justice League, tag 7 people
  • Also, you can use the images provided, but don’t have to if you don’t want to
  • Have fun with it!

BATMAN: Your favourite antihero

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Victor Vale! I love him. ❤


AQUAMAN: A book or character that turned out to be better than you expected

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Little Fires Everywhere turned out so much better than I’d expected! I’m not usually a fan of literary fiction, but I loved that book.


WONDER WOMAN: MOST BAD ASS FEMALE CHARACTER

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Definitely Mia Corvere from Nevernight!


CYBORG: FAVORITE SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

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Just based on pure enjoyment? Probably Ready Player One.


THE FLASH: A BOOK YOU SPED THROUGH

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Starry Eyes for sure. I couldn’t put it down and ended up finishing it in one day.


SUPERMAN: SADDEST CHARACTER DEATH (ALTHOUGH WE ALL KNOW THERE’S NO WAY SUPERMAN IS GOING TO STAY DEAD)

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This is a hard one to do without spoilers! I’m going to say Dobby in Harry Potter. 😢


I’m tagging: any superhero fans! feel free to tag yourself! ❤


 

Book review: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Source: Borrowed

Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are, and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theatre, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible.

But her plans quickly crumble when she’s cast as none other than Juliet–yes, that Juliet–in her high school’s production. It’s a nightmare. No–a disaster. Megan’s not an actress and she’s certainly not a Juliet. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright who agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a sexy stagehand in exchange for help writing his new script.

Between rehearsals and contending with her divided family, Megan begins to notice Owen–thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes, and wonders: shouldn’t a girl get to play the lead in her own love story?

Always Never Yours was easily one of my most-anticipated debuts of 2018. As soon as I first saw the cover and synopsis (in a Twitter thread, of all places) I knew that I had to read it. The thing is, I kind of struggled to read this book, and I’m really sad about that.

The first third of the book is just… so… boring. It’s just Megan running around trying to find a boyfriend, which is fine but I felt like it was a little overdone. I mean, she’s hopping from one crush to the next and I appreciated that the authors never tried to condemn her for being unabashedly flirty and boy-crazy, but I was so bored. Then the play starts up and it gets marginally more interesting, but it’s so clear that Megan’s after the wrong boy that, again, it’s just boring. We’re just sitting there waiting for her to catch up. I mean, come on, now we’re like fifty percent in and everything that’s happened so far is in the synopsis. I hate it when that happens.

The second half of the book is better. I felt like the pacing improved and, let’s be honest, despite my problems with how the romance developed, Owen was pretty cute. (But, again, all of this is in the synopsis, so what’s even the point of reading this book?) I liked how Megan started taking control of her own life and I liked the exploration of her family dynamics. But, all in all, did I like this book? Not really.

I also want to mention (and thanks to Becky for the warning going in!) that this book features a lot of cheating. Like, so much cheating. I’m not sure I’ve read a book (certainly not a YA romance) that features quite this much cheating. Everybody is cheating on everybody and it’s exhausting. And it’s hardly even addressed! I was really disappointed by that.

I guess, in the end, I’d recommend this book if you were a theater kid and you want a nostalgic look back at those days. I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend it as a romance, but you could certainly do worse if you’re looking for a quick summer read.

(I also totally missed the fact that Emily Wibberley attended Princeton University while I was living down the street from the campus, so for all I know, we could’ve been neighbors.)


Have you read Always Never Yours? Does cheating in books drive you crazy?
Let’s talk in the comments!


Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

ARC review: Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Source: ARC from First to Read

Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.

I might have let out a little yelp when I got the email from First to Read that I’d been chosen for an ARC of Darius the Great is Not Okay. I’d been looking forward to reading it for a while and I never really know what’s going to happen when I try to get books from them. It was also on Becky Albertalli’s list of LGBTQ recommendations, so there’s another ringing endorsement. I was all set to love it, and I did… mostly.

I loved the friendship between Darius and Sohrab. Darius is a lot of things. He’s awkward, he’s nerdy, and he’s self-conscious. He’s overweight, he struggles with depression, and he gets bullied a lot. He doesn’t really have any friends except for the one Persian girl in his school that he sometimes has lunch with. But when he gets to Iran, he instantly bonds with Sohrab. Sohrab is a guy who doesn’t really fit in, either. He’s different from the other kids in his town, but he knows from the minute that he meets Darius that they’ll be best friends. Their friendship is so sweet.

The actual LGBTQ aspect is very subtle. I don’t recall Darius ever actually addressing his sexuality. There are times when a family member will ask him why he doesn’t have a girlfriend and he’ll kind of dodge the question. There are little hints that Darius feels more than friendly toward Sohrab, and maybe Sohrab feels the same toward him, but this isn’t a romance. (And that’s totally fine.)

Now, for what kept the book from a full five stars. There were two things that kind of ate away at me while I was reading. First, the book relies pretty heavily on Star Trek references to move along the plot. This isn’t necessarily a problem for me in general. I’ve never been a huge fan of Star Trek, but I usually love pop culture references in books. It just felt a little over-the-top here. And second, there were so many similes. Everything had to be compared to something else. My protected PDF wouldn’t let me make highlights, so I’m just going based off my memory here, but I recall Darius referring to his voice as “squeaky like a cheese curd,” and that was just really interesting. All in all, though, those are two really minor complaints about a book that was otherwise really well-written.

In the end, I’d say that Darius the Great is Not Okay is a really great character-driven debut that I’d easily recommend to just about anyone. There’s one point, near the end of the book, where I almost burst into tears in the middle of a crowded airplane. I felt so bad for Darius and just wanted to give him a big hug.

#mm18: vacation reads
Goodreads summer reading challenge: read the world


Have you read Darius the Great Is Not Okay? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!


Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Monthly Motif: July Update

It’s time for another Monthly Motif reading challenge update! In July, the theme was vacation reads, and I actually went on vacation, so here are all the books I read when I was visiting my mom in Wisconsin! None of these reviews are up yet, but they will be within the next couple weeks.

Books read:

Books not read:

  • I had hoped to read When by Daniel H. Pink on the train ride home, but that didn’t end up happening because all the trains were cancelled. I’ve lived in NJ for six years and the trains are always running! Even in a blizzard! It was the weirdest thing and also super stressful, so I’m glad I’m not planning to take another train anytime soon.

August’s theme is award winners, so please let me know what you think I should read!

Previously: January | February | MarchAprilMay | June


Are you participating in the Monthly Motif reading challenge? If so, what did you read for this month’s prompt? Do you usually get a lot of reading done on vacation? Let’s talk in the comments!

Review: The Pawn by Skye Warren

The Pawn by Skye Warren
Series: Endgame #1
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • Goodreads
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Source: I one-clicked this one all by myself.

The price of survival…

Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.

There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction…

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. It’s the first book in the brand new ENDGAME series.

This isn’t a book that I was planning on reading any time soon, but apparently I just let Daniel decide what I’m reading these days. 🤷 Thanks for telling me not to read this on a plane. I might have actually died.

A few things before I get started:

  • I was going to do a mini-review, but I just have too many thoughts.
  • We all know how I feel about dark romance, so I’m not even sure why I own this book.
  • The average rating for this book on Goodreads is 4.14, so clearly there’s a market for it that’s just not me.

Anyway, let’s get into it. Under a spoiler tag, of course, because the last thing I want is to deprive you of the full experience of reading this book. So, full disclosure, tons of spoilers ahead.

Click at your own risk!

Where do I even start? I guess I should say that, overall, the writing isn’t terrible? The dialogue actually feels pretty natural and flows pretty nicely. The descriptions aren’t awful and I’m sorry but those are the only semi-nice things I can say about this book.

So, basically, the entire plot of the book is that Avery is selling her virginity to earn enough money to provide care for her sick father. Very noble, whatever, it’s really just sad but what am I going to do? Not read the book? Of course not. Have you met me? I read the whole thing. I complained the whole time, but I read it.

Some things that happen in this book:

  • Avery’s fake uncle proposes to her, calls her a slut, and then bids on her at the virginity auction anyway.
  • There’s a character named Gabriel who is referred to as “fierce like an avenging angel,” because did you really write a character named Gabriel if you didn’t make at least one angel reference?
  • Avenging Angel Gabriel goes way above and beyond to bid A MILLION DOLLARS for Avery’s virginity and then, just in case anybody was getting the idea to bid a million and one, he growls at the crowd to intimidate them.
  • Avery gave Gabriel a blowjob and he roared with a ferocity that reverberated through the library (he offered to give her a five-star review on Yelp afterward).
  • At one point, Avery referred to herself as a horse and Gabriel as her “virgin whisperer” and I have no other comments than yep, that’s a thing that happened.
  • Gabriel actually, literally, really, I’m not even kidding you, uses chess pieces as sex toys when they finally have sex. The poor pawn. I will never look at a chess board the same way again.
  • A decidedly un-happy ending.

Anyway, let’s recap:

  • The premise? Sad and very much not sexy.
  • The characters? All terrible.
  • The ending? Not even happy-for-now. Just straight up sad.

I also feel like I need to mention the fact that Avery’s dad caught her masturbating when she was younger and punished her by putting chili juice on her fingers every night for a month. Because that’s a thing that sane, reasonable, good parents do. 🙄

Some quotes:

  • “There have to be lights somewhere.” I never had occasion to use them.
  • My knowledge of sex is so limited that I only imagine it at night. That goes doubly so for a strange old man. Uncertainty vibrates through me. “He’d want me during the day?”

  • “I’m not your friend,” he says gently. He’s my enemy.
  • I would feel something if he’d taken my virginity, wouldn’t I? Some foreign texture, some soreness? [side note: FOREIGN TEXTURE????]

This is everything I hate in a romance novel in one book, okay? I guess if you’re super into dark romances, or arbitrary concepts like virginity being auctioned off, or maybe you have a chess fetish, you might like this book. But other than that? Definitely not recommended, unless you’re just reading for the entertainment factor alone.

I would’ve given this book one star, but I bumped it up to two for the sheer amount of times I laughed.

#killingthetbr: 11 months on shelf
Goodreads summer reading challenge: TBRing it


Have you read The Pawn? How do you feel about erotica?
Let’s talk in the comments!


Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’