Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday-- 2019 Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (March 19th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

  • Major mood reader here, so usually these lists are FAILS, but I still like being optimistic and making them :)

1.  Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid- This is on hold for me at the library and I CAN'T WAIT FOR IT TO BE AVAILABLE!!

2.  Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1) by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell- This is totally not my usual type of book, but Jessica Brody is one of my forever fave authors (I just LOVE her writing), and I read the first few chapters and think it's super interesting (although it is a brick at almost 600 pages).

3.  Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney- This is one of those Adult Mysteries that I've been gravitating towards more and more.  And it equals out the giantness of the previous book because it's super short!

4.  The Lies They Tell by Gillian French- This author is becoming a new fave, but I need to read this one before her new book (The Missing Season) comes out.

5.  Last Girl Lied To by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn- I really enjoyed Firsts, so I am anxious to see what this author comes up with next.

6.  Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley- This is a book in our FFBC Tours and I love court stuff, so I'm going to squeeze this in.

7.  When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry- I miss post-apocalyptic books and this is kind of one-- plus aliens!!

8.  Rules We're Meant to Break by Natalie Williamson- This looks so cute and I'm really picky about romance, but I'm hoping the "I like my mom's boyfriend's daughter's best friend" will be good with me (LOL).

9.  Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly- Retelling!!!  I love darker takes on Fairy Tales.

10.  The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda- Last but not least, MEGAN MIRANDA!!!  I am SO excited about this book.  Have you read All the Missing Girls?  It's amazing and I SO recommend!

What books are you reading this Spring?

Monday, March 18, 2019

Slayer (#1) by Kiersten White-- Newest (and LAST) Member of the Hairy Mole Club!!!

Slayer (#1)

Artemis and Nina are twins living at the Watcher's Academy, but their roles couldn't be more different.  Artemis was chosen to train and fight, while Nina was sidelined as a medic.  Nina doesn't mind though, because she'd rather heal than hurt.  Until....

Nina finds out she's a Slayer-- the last Slayer ever.

Now, she's training with her new Watcher, Leo-- a boy she's had a huge, embarrassing crush on-- while also growing distant from her twin, getting no necessary info from her mother, and having demons pop-up more and more frequently.

DISCLAIMER: I am a big fan of the movie, but have only watched a few episodes (here and there) of the TV show.  This may have impacted my opinions.

A few of my friends are huge Buffy fans, so when they were thinking of reading this book, I thought it would be fun to read it as an outsider to the Buffy-Fandom.  It was pretty easy to pick out the parts in the book that were referencing the show (there are even some references to the movie as well), and I only felt the need to Google two things to figure out what it was they were talking about.  I think it's totally do-able to read this not knowing much about the Buffy World.

This story is about twins Artemis and Nina (real name: Athena).  They're part of the Watchers, tasked to help train the Slayers of the world.  Right now they're not helping anyone because magic is broken and Buffy did something that turned all the Potential Slayers into actual Slayers-- so now there are hundreds (thousands?) of them running around.  The Watcher population has been severely depleted and they are living in a state of hiding, trying to regroup.

Artemis is the chosen twin.  Her mom tapped her to train to be a Watcher, while Nina was forced to sit on the sidelines and learn to be a healer/medic.  That's all fine and dandy until Nina realizes she's a Slayer and the whole dynamic is sent into a tailspin.  Artemis is protective and jealous of Nina-- she's supposed to be the strong twin who is tasked with protecting Nina, not the other way around!!  It's all very complicated and pushes the twins apart.

This book was very uneven to me.  At times I would be super into it, and at times I was so bored.  The book is over 400 pages and it really didn't need to be.  It's written in first-person POV and the main character just goes over and over things we already know to fill up some of the pages.  It also suffered from that thing where if someone (anyone) would just say something (anything), the problems could be solved so easily.  I hate when a simple conversation can make a book not need to exist.

I did like getting to know some of how the Watcher organization worked, and some of the characters were really interesting (Rhys & Cillian, mostly).  I probably would've liked this 100 x's better if it weren't so obvious who the bad people were.  SO OBVIOUS.  If that wasn't bad enough to make the ending anticlimactic, there was also a chain of events that just infuriated me.  Something happens and then the author is just like: SIKE!!! 🙄

OVERALL: Not my favorite.  I enjoyed parts of this, but other parts dragged and dragged.  It really felt like I was reading fanfiction, and that is NOT what I was expecting out of this.  I really enjoyed The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, but this one didn't feel as refined as that one.


"Cillian snorts. "Sorry, I just. I can't get over her name. Buffy."
I fold my arms glaring. "What, she has a girly name, so she can't destroy the world?""

"What would a good Slayer do? I have no idea. Probably start punching things."

"I'm a healer. I've dedicated my life to it. Fixing bodies is all I've ever wanted to do. But now? I have a body count."

Date Published: 1/8/2019
How I got this book: Purchased
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Add this to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 3/5

Character: Artemis Jamison-Smythe
Book: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  • Complicated twin relationship-- should really be read by both sisters, but Artemis seems to have a harder time with the change.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday-- Standalones that need sequels

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (March 12th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Standalone Books That Need A Sequel

  • I didn't realize how hard this topic would be!!  I read a lot of mysteries and once that is solved, it's hard for me to think of that book being continued.  I did manage to find a few that I either wanted to know MORE about, or I just wanted to be in that world MORE.

1.  Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero- I would totally read more books set in a Scooby-Doo world.

2.  Folded Notes from High School by Matthew Boren- This book ended on kind of a weird note (lol, pun not intended), so I think more info is needed.

3.  Sadie by Courtney Summers- I know this one is meant to be what it is, but I have IDEAS about what happened to Sadie and I want to know if I'm right.  Also, maybe I just want more of books that follow this format from CS???  I don't know.

4.  The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr- Oh this book could totally have a sequel.  Once I hit the plot twist, I really wanted to get to know the real Flora.

5.  Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade- I need more YA college books and I thought this one was just getting started when it ended!!

6.  A Week of the Mondays by Jessica Brody- I'm all for Groundhog's Day books, so maybe we can have a Week of the Tuesdays???

7.  Heartless by Marissa Meyer- I know this should 100% be a standalone.... but I can't help but want to read MORE about the Queen of Hearts.

8.  Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen- I would love to see Halley in college and find out how Scarlett and the baby are doing.

9.  The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade- So this already has several sequels, but I'll always want more Alona and Will.

10.  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- What is Sophomore year like for Cath and Wren???

What books do you wish had sequels?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell-- Review & Giveaway

Just for Clicks

by Kara McDowell
Publisher: Amberjack
Release Date: February 19th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg


Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they're expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as "just Claire"? And what should Claire do about Mom's old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don't sound like Mom's perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

I knew I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw that it was about blogging.  I've always wondered what it was like for the children of "mommy bloggers" once they grow up-- and now I've had the chance to read about some!!

It was effortless to fall into this story of twins who grew up in social media spotlight. This book is very NOW-- famous bloggers, Instagram influencers, vlogging, and doing it all for the clicks/likes/comments.  Claire is the twin who feels uncomfortable with being so exposed, Poppy is the one who thrives on it.  When Claire meets someone (Rafael) who seems to not know anything about her online life, her heart soars at the possibility of being able to be someone different around him.

I really liked Claire, but wanted just a tad more from her. She didn't delve into her feelings quite enough for me. Also, I could not visualize her as 1/2 of a famous duo.  They would talk about doing hair tutorial vlogs or Q&A vlogs, and I just could not picture her as one of those upbeat cheery people.  I mean, I knew she was faking it, but I couldn't even picture her doing that convincingly.  She was so unhappy and disinterested in it.

Rafael was adorable and very needed in this book.  The relationship was super slow and more of a friendship for the majority of the book (which is what Claire really needed anyway).  Poppy was a surprising non-factor. I wish she didn't just disappear from the story right when we started to get to know the characters.  Her and Claire's twin connection could have and should have been stronger-- especially after the big twist is revealed.  Where did she go during all of that turmoil??

This book was a happy surprise for me.  I haven't been reading as many fluffy contemporaries and if there are more like this one, I just may get back into them.  It was fun, but had enough serious issues to keep me turning pages.

OVERALL: Cute and thought-provoking!  I fell into this story and ALLLLL the issues that being social media famous brings.  The romance is adorable and slow, the family issues are complicated and scandalous.  I totally recommend this one-- a great debut for this author!

My Rating: 4/5

Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.

JUST FOR CLICKS is Kara's debut novel.

  • 1 copy of JUST FOR CLICKS by Kara McDowell
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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday-- Recent Couples

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (February 11th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Favorite Couples In Books

  • This is kinda hard for me because I haven't been reading as many romantic books in the last few years.  I also don't really read fantasy-- which usually have a lot of couplings.
  • I do have a lot of OTPs from back in the day (Sam & Kent from Before I Fall, Katniss & Peeta from THG, Cinder & Thorne from TLC), but I'm going to limit this list to the last 10 couples that caught my eye.

1.  Claudia & Gideon
Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
  • This story wasn't really about the romance, but seeing if these 2 were heading towards "friend zone" or something more was a fun part of the book.
2.  Mia & Owen
Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
  • I am a sucker for broken hearts and those 2nd chance romances.
3.  Chloe & Grady
  • I loooooove Chloe Snow.  And I love her with Grady.
4.  Jessa & Max
Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda
  • Max was everything in this book.
5.  Ellie & Owen
A Week of the Mondays by Jessica Brody
  • Ellie wasn't my fave of all fave main characters, but BFF romances are adorable.

6.  Annie & Jeremiah
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
  • I had complicated feelings about this romance, but I ended up liking how patient Jeremiah was.
7.  Sarah & Ryan
The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
  • YES.  Being in love with your best friend's boyfriend may be wrong, but it makes for such good build up in books.
8.  Sasha & Xavier
Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten
  • Okay, so maybe I'm not supposed to ship anyone in this book-- but I don't care, I do.

9.  Emmy & Oliver
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
  • Emmy & Oliver were adorable together-- even after so many years, they still had that connection.

10.  Juliet & Declan
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
  • There was a lot more to this book than just a romance, but I liked how Juliet & Declan were able to find each other to help deal with similar situations.  It always helps to have someone to talk to that has gone through what you are going through.

So those are my most recent favorite couples.  Who are you shipping right now?