Wednesday, January 17, 2018

This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis-- UMMM, What Did I Read??

This Darkness Mine

Sasha Stone knows where her life is headed-- she's worked extra hard to ensure it.  She's going to graduate valedictorian and get in to Oberlin.  Just when it seems she's in the home stretch, Issac Harver happens.

Issac isn't the kind of guy that Sasha would give the time of day to.  He's a loser, a bad boy-- he's not her picture-perfect, stand-in boyfriend Heath.  But for some reason, she keeps having a physical reaction to Issac, and he keeps acting like he knows her better than he should.

All this happens as she discovers that she was once a twin before she absorbed her sister in the womb.  After this revelation, everything goes haywire and the Sasha Stone that was so carefully crafted over the years, suddenly loses her carefully crafted mind.







I want to preface this review by saying that I absolutely LOVED The Female of the Species.  The main character in that book was dark, but also kind of relatable (even if she was a sociopath).  This Darkness Mine sounded like it was going to be a similar book with an equally dark character, and in a way it was-- but also it was a book that I didn't quite "get".

In the beginning, I kind of loved the way Sasha Stone had it all figured out.  She had her goals and she knew what she needed to do to achieve them.  But soon it became clear that the Sasha Stone that I originally liked/cared about and the real Sasha Stone weren't even living in the same zip code.

I think this book would've been great as a short story.  It sort of felt like Mindy McGinnis made me read 370 pages just to write one mind-bending paragraph.  As a short story, we wouldn't have to wade through everything to get to something that was really very simplistic in the end.

I will definitely be reading more Mindy McGinnis-- although this book does give me some pause.  It confused the hell out of me, and I'm honestly not sure why this idea was ever given the green light.  The fact that someone believes the heart is what controls love??  The total lack of all redeeming qualities of almost all of the characters in the book?? It just didn't make sense.

I will say I give props to Mindy for GOING for it and not holding back on the gross, vulgar, or weird.

OVERALL: I'm not sure what the purpose of this book was.  I think it would've made a mind-bending short story, but as a full-fledged novel, I wasn't sure I understood the point of it.  Sasha Stone is one messed-up individual, so if you do decide to read this, you can at least enjoy a character who is super twisty and damaged.

Date Published: 10/10/2017
How I got this book: Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins for providing me with an advanced copy to read and honestly review
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books


Add it to your To-Read List!!!

My Rating: 2.5/5







Character: Sasha Stone
Book: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

  • Because girl NEEDS to get a dose of some BAD BOY romance and maybe she'll realize it's OKAY to just like who she likes regardless of what people expect of her.







Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday-- 2018 Books I'm Looking Forward To

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 (January 16th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2018



  • So the real topic is BOOKISH GOALS FOR 2018, but I really only have one big goal in mind and I'm planning to write a post about that later this week so..... I thought I would catch up on a topic that I missed a few weeks ago.
  • I actually thought there weren't very many 2018 books that I was excited for, and in making this list I realized I was SO wrong.  Some of my fave authors are back with new books, some really bomb-ass debut authors from the last 2 years are putting out Sophomore efforts, and mysteries seem to be making a little bit of a YA comeback!!  So yeah, 2018 is looking better and better.






1.  The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas- Cheerleaders + Mystery + based on a true story = 100% ME!!!
2.  The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith- I SO adored The Way I Used to Be, so I am PUMPED for a new Amber Smith book.
3.  In Her Skin by Kim Savage- I loved her debut, After the Woods, and I JUST received this in the mail today!!! Also, I'm hosting the blog tour for it, so be on the lookout for sign-ups over at the FFBC.
4.  Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade- You KNOW I'm all about that 90's life and Felicity the TV show was my JAM (TEAM BEN), so anything that has roots in that is a hell yes!!
5.  The Lies They Tell by Gillian French- I was SO impressed with Grit, her debut, so I am excited to read more from her.





6.  Tell Me No Lies (Follow Me Back #2) by A.V. Geiger- The sequel to Follow Me Back, one of my SURPRISE favorites last year, is coming in June.
7.  Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin- GAHHHHHHH.  One of my VERY fave authors of EVER is back and writing about the 80's???!!!?!?!? 
8.  That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger- I haven't read anything from this author since not loving The DUFF, so I think it's TIME with this book.
9.  People Like Us by Dana Mele- Cool Cover + private schools + murder mystery w/ a scavenger hunt.  Do you need more??
10.  White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig- Last Seen Leaving was EVERYTHING. I can't wait to read another thrilling mystery from Caleb!!



Honorable Mentions:





What 2018 books are on your MUST list??

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Big Little Lies Book vs. TV Show

Big Little Lies

Madeline-- she's the strong one.  She has an older daughter from a previous marriage and a son in 2nd grade, so she's familiar with the dynamics at Pirriwee Public School-- and she's not afraid to hold her own or stick up for her friends.

Celeste-- Rich, beautiful, the mother of twin boys starting kindergarten. Her life looks like something out of a catalog.  But looks can be deceiving.

Jane-- Young, single mother, and new to town.  She's a wounded baby bird that Madeline can't help but take under her wing.  Jane desperately wants to move on from the past that haunts her, but that's not so easy when her son is directly tied to it.

These 3 women become entangled in parenthood politics, personal turmoils, and eventually the death of someone during a school function.



Based on Liane Moriarity’s bestselling book, and featuring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley, this darkly comedic series tells the tale of three mothers whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to the point of murder.

Originally Aired on HBO








I watched the TV show first and after LOVING it decided that I really needed to read the book already.  It's funny because I traded someone for the book a few years ago, and it's just been sitting on my shelf.  I guess my excuse is that I don't read a ton of Adult books (and I have an overflowing TBR).  Anyway, once I started watching the TV show, I knew that I wanted to compare it with the book.

I can honestly say that I was equally OBSESSED with both.  I basically binge-watched and read both mediums as fast as I humanly could do so.  I mean, even KNOWING all the things that were going to happen in the book (because of the show), I still NEEDED to read page after page as fast as I could.

Things I Liked Better About The Show:


  • I really liked the changes they made for the TV show, particularly with Madeline and her family.  They eliminated her middle child, aged up her oldest daughter a few years, and gave her younger daughter a much bigger role (and a personality makeover).
  • Chloe (the youngest daughter) ended up being one of my favorite characters of the whole series.  She was so smart and mature and had this awesome love for music, and it was just so endearing.
  • I also liked that they gave Madeline her own secrets separate from the conflicts with her children.
  • I liked Ed's personality makeover in the TV show also.  In the book, he was just kind of THERE and very TEAM MADELINE, but in the show it was a lot more complicated. He was on her side and ready to fight her ex-husband, but he wasn't blindly following her.
  • I loved Bonnie!!  She was very similar to the book character, but so much more REAL and 3-dimensional.
  • All of the kids were amazing and adorable and just completely cast perfectly.
  • The ending was so explosive and fucking PERFECT.

Things I Liked Better About The Book:

  • Celeste's story.  Nicole Kidman did a fabulous job with her portrayal of Celeste, but I felt like the book was better at showing us how her marriage developed and became abusive.  The TV show really played up the part where sex & violence were intertwined for Celeste and Perry, and I much preferred the way the book described the whole thing.
  • Tom (the coffee shop owner)'s story was much more adorable.
  • Madeline's ex-husband Nathan's story was so much more infuriating on the page and I loved that.
  • We got to know Jane and her family in the book in a way that wasn't shown in the show.

Differences:

  • There were a lot of differences, some of which I've already mentioned, but the biggest one was drama.  The TV show amped up the drama, the build-up, the levels of everything.
  • The ending particularly I liked better this way because the book just kind of fell flat at the end.  I liked the redemption/healing ARC that the one character got, but the conclusion of the death/murder kind of felt like an after-thought.
  • Jane's story was really very different and toned down in the book.  I enjoyed that they made her a lot more damaged in the show.  It brought the intensity a lot higher.



Apparently there is a season 2 coming for the show, and I am HERE for it.  I don't actually know where it's going to go since the entirety of the book was covered, but I guess it'll be the aftermath of the death since it was left open a bit.

I am now down to read all the Liane Moriarty books.  I have The Husband's Secret on deck as I type this!!  Have you read any of her books??  If so, which ones were your faves?

Have you watched Big Little Lies on HBO yet??  Have you read the book?  Share your thoughts with me PLEASE!!



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday-- 2017 Books I Meant to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (January 9th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To



  • I meant to read ALL of these last year and am super disappointed that I didn't.  I definitely wanted to read a lot of sequels that I didn't get to, and a lot of these are SUPER FAVORITE authors and I really want to read their books!!  So here are the ones I really want to read in 2018:



1.  Feral Youth by Various YA Authors- I got this for Christmas, and after reading Violent Ends, I am SUPER excited to read another anthology edited by Shaun Davin Hutchinson.
2.  We are Okay by Nina LaCour- I feel terrible that I haven't read this yet.  I've read EVERY other Nina LaCour book, and I'm a bad fan for not reading this.
3.  Turtles All the Way Down by John Green- I own this and wanted to read it when it first came out, but.... yeah.
4.  Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero- Scooby Doo is SO my jam.
5.  A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody- I also got this book for Christmas, and I'm a super huge Jessica Brody fan, so yeah, I'll be reading it soon.




6.  Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco- I meant to read a lot of sequels last year and read NONE.  This year I will catch up on these!!
7.  Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2) by Katharine McGee
8.  The Knowing (The Forgetting #2) by Sharon Cameron
9.  Follow Me (The Amateurs #2) by Sara Shepard
10.  Top Ten by Katie Cotugno- I got this from my Broke and Bookish Secret Santa and I want to squeeze it in soon.




Which books did you mean to read last year, but didn't find the time?

Monday, January 8, 2018

My 2017 Best of Books




Number of Books You Read: 55
Number of Rereads: 2 Sarah Dessen books and like 7 Fear Streets
Genre You Read Most From: YA Mystery/Contemporary


1.  BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2017:



2.  BOOK YOU WERE EXCITED ABOUT & THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO LOVE MORE BUT DIDN'T?

  • Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage- I really loved After the Woods, so I was expecting BBGs to be a ME book... sadly, that wasn't the case.  I am super excited to try her 3rd book In Her Skin though!
  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows- I had heard how hilariously funny and joyful this book was, so I was fully expecting to laugh and be joyful.  Turns out??  Maybe I'm just not that joyful?
  • Renegades (#1)by Marissa Meyer- I did like this book, but I definitely didn't LOVE it like I thought I would.  It was too LONG and really not original enough.


3.  MOST SURPRISING (IN A GOOD WAY OR A BAD WAY) BOOK YOU READ?

  • The Forgetting (#1) by Sharon Cameron- I don't usually read Dystopians or Sci-Fi, so loving this book was a HUGE surprise for me.
  • Follow Me Back (#1) by A.V. Geiger- I really hadn't heard a lot about this book when I decided to pick it up, but I was wary because I'm not the biggest romance person.  OMG, I ended up being OBSESSED with it.  It was such a bright spot in my reading year!


4.  BOOK YOU "PUSHED" THE MOST PEOPLE TO READ (AND THEY DID)?

  • Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten- I've been telling EVERYONE I know to read this book, and I will continue to tell people-- like right now, GO READ THIS BOOK!!


5.  BEST SERIES YOU STARTED IN 2016? BEST SEQUEL OF 2016? BEST SERIES ENDER OF 2016?

  • The Forgetting (#1) by Sharon Cameron- I can't wait to read the 2nd book in the series, The Knowing!!
  • I'm a terrible series reader anymore and didn't read one single sequel or ender in 2017!!


6.  FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR YOU DISCOVERED IN 2016?

  • Stephanie Oakes
  • Natasha Friend


7.  BEST BOOK FROM A GENRE YOU DON'T TYPICALLY READ/WAS OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE?

  • The Forgetting (#1) by Sharon Cameron- Dystopian is not my usual, so I wasn't sure I would like it.  I definitely LOVED it.
  • All Rights Reserved (#1) by Gregory Scott Katsoulis- Again, Dystopian, so I was surprised by how INTO it I got.
  • I think maybe Dystopian is a new fave genre now???


8.  MOST ACTION PACKED/THRILLING/UNPUTDOWNABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR?

  • Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten- YES!!!  I was hooked on this book.
  • Follow Me Back (#1) by A.V. Geiger- This book has romance and darkness and intensity and secrets.  It was unputdownable for sure!!
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline- I loved all the action in this book.


9.  BOOK YOU READ IN 2016 THAT YOU ARE MOST LIKELY TO RE-READ NEXT YEAR?

  • Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios- I related personally to the story in this book, so it's definitely going on my "Reread Someday" list.


10.  FAVORITE COVER OF A BOOK YOU READ IN 2016?



11.  MOST MEMORABLE CHARACTER OF 2016?

  • Adam from A List of Cages by Robin Roe- Adam!!  He's too good.  I'll definitely remember how he made me want to be a better person.
  • Flora from The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr- Flora's situation was heartbreaking in many ways, but also SO inspiring.  Flora was strong and brave and completely endearing.


12.  MOST BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN BOOK READ IN 2016?

  • Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills- Reading the words Emma Mills writes is effortless.
  • Violent Ends by Various YA Authors- I just think it's beautiful when so many authors can come together to write a singular story that also explores individual experiences.


13.  MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING/ LIFE-CHANGING BOOK OF 2016?

  • The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend- This book made me think a lot about family, which isn't something I give a ton of thought to.
  • The Gatekeepers by Jen Lancaster- I didn't think this book was perfect, but reading it made me think a lot about what it's going to be like when my child is a teen and the things he's going to encounter.


14.  BOOK YOU CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WAITED UNTIL 2016 TO FINALLY READ?

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline- If you know me, you know I LOVE nostalgia!!  Now, I'm really more of a 90's gal than an 80's one, but still.... I can't believe I didn't read this sooner!


15.  FAVORITE PASSAGE/QUOTE FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2016?


  • “When you're a stupid girl in love, it's almost impossible to see the red flags. It's so easy to pretend they're not there, to pretend everything is perfect.” ~Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios


16.  SHORTEST & LONGEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2016?



17.  BOOK THAT SHOCKED YOU THE MOST?

(because of plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
  • Be True to Me by Adele Griffin- The last 1/4 of this book was like 😱.
  • Final Girls by Riley Sager- I was on-board for the first twist, but the 2nd and 3rd twists defintiely got me.


18.  OTP OF THE YEAR (YOU WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren't familiar)


19.  FAVORITE NON-ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP OF THE YEAR



20.  FAVORITE BOOK YOU READ IN 2016 FROM AN AUTHOR YOU'VE READ PREVIOUSLY?



21.  BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2016 THAT YOU READ BASED SOLELY ON A RECOMMENDATION FROM SOMEBODY ELSE/ PEER PRESSURE:



22.  NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH FROM A BOOK YOU READ IN 2016?



23.  BEST 2016 DEBUT YOU READ?

  • Grit by Gillian French- I loved the setting and feel of this debut.  It also has a super-relatable main character in it, so I'm down to read more from Gillian.
  • A List of Cages by Robin Roe- I can't believe this was a debut!!  It was PERFECTION.



24.  BEST WORLD BUILDING/ MOST VIVID SETTING YOU READ THIS YEAR?

  • The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron- The city of Canaan and the world that Nadia lives in is so well described.  I would love for this to be made into a movie.



25.  BOOK THAT PUT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE/ WAS THE MOST FUN TO READ?

  • The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride- Okay, so I know saying that a murderous thriller put a smile on my face makes me seem kinda creepy, but hear me out.  This book made me happy because it reminded me of the mystery/thrillers that I read growing up-- and I really missed those types of books!
  • Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills- This book is sunshine and happiness and rainbows and butterflies.



26.  BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY OR NEARLY CRY IN 2016?




27.  HIDDEN GEM OF THE YEAR?

  • The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes- This book SO didn't get the props it deserved.



28.  BOOK THAT CRUSHED YOUR SOUL?



29.  MOST UNIQUE BOOK YOU READ IN 2016?



30.  BOOK THAT MADE YOU THE MOST MAD (DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN YOU DIDN'T LIKE IT)?

  • Vigilante by Kady Cross- This book started out great... but then it took a turn into ridiculous-ville and didn't look back.
  • After the Fall by Kate Hart- There was a THING that happened that infuriated me.  It took the only part of the book that I really liked and lit it on fire.  It was a rage-read after that.






1.  ONE BOOK YOU DIDN'T GET TO IN 2017 BUT WILL BE YOUR NUMBER 1 PRIORITY IN 2018?

  • We Are Okay by Nina LaCour- I MUST read this book.  I feel like a bad fan right now :(


2.  BOOK YOU ARE MOST ANTICIPATING FOR 2018 (non-debut)?



3.  2018 DEBUT YOU ARE  MOST ANTICIPATING?

  • People Like Us by Dana Mele- I love YA Mystery, and this one sounds PERFECT.


4.  ONE THING YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH OR DO IN YOUR READING/BLOGGING LIFE IN 2018?

  • Goals:
  • Go to New Orleans for ALA in June
  • Continue to promote awesome books with my book tour co. The Fantastic Flying Book Club
  • Have fun talking about books (things in the book world feel really serious anymore, and honestly I just want to get back to FUN).



So, that's my 2017 reading year.  Do we share any faves?