16 March 2018

Friday #56, #47 #Hater by Cambria Herbert

The Friday #56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's VoiceJoin in every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you've been reading. Here are the rules:

  • Grab a book 
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
  • Find any sentence (or a few, don't spoil it) 

**Be sure to post the links to your Friday #56 below!

Happy Reading!!

Series: Hashtag Series, #2
# of Pages: 492
Publication: January 10, 2015
Genre: New Adult
Goodreads | Amazon | 
It started with unspoken animosity. The bitter bite of jealousy. And now its full blown hate. It was during my first football game that I first felt the first chill of hate. I looked it right in the eyes and felt its sticky tentacles reach out for me. I’d never experienced something so cold and empty before. The effect of that look lingered, like an unspoken promise, long after it was gone. Becoming a couple – becoming the other half of a campus celebrity wasn’t easy. I let down walls guarding my heart and he looked past my glasses and accident prone tendencies. Romeo and I are an unlikely match, a #nerd and a jock. But we made it. And we’re happy. Zach doesn’t want us to be happy. He wants Romeo to pay for getting him kicked out of Omega and for the night he spent in jail. He’s going to use anything and everything he can to get his revenge. Including me. As the weather on campus grows cold and the days become dark, revenge becomes the center of someone’s life and the happiness Romeo and I worked so hard for is threatened. I can’t help but worry that our love is going to be overshadowed by hate.

This series is so interesting! I gave the first book a three stars, but I found it to be a cute new adult romance. I'm interesting in seeing where the author takes these two characters after everything that they have been through in the first book. If you haven't checked these out I would definitely give them a chance.

"I felt sick for her. Like physically sick. Zach basically took advantage of her inebriated state. Then on his way out the next morning, he probably saw me enter the building and decided to have a little fun, at Romeo's expense." 
What are you reading this Friday?

15 March 2018

Mini Review: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 122
Publication: August 17th, 1945
Source: Library E-Audiobook
Genre: Classic
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors.

This is such a complex and scary novel. Yes, I do mean scary but in a non conventional way. I originally read this book in high school but decided to give it a re-read because I didn't really remember much of the book except that the pigs were evil. I was definitely excited about diving into the contents of the book and immediately checked it out on audio. Let me tell you something. I was absolutely shaken by the contents of this book. I have never in a million years read anything like it. It is such a crazy accurate depiction of society. I can't go into too many details because the complexity of this book alone is a spoiler.

What I can say about this book is that I found the entire premise of the book to be fascinating. No one is safe from criticism and it's all well warranted. At first I was shocked at Orwells use of animals to depict a growing society; however, by the end of the book (the ending was completely brilliant) it all made sense. It was the perfect idea for such a complex underlying storyline. I don't think that this book should be required high school reading. It's not that I think that it's above what high school students are capable of but as an individual who read this in high and then as an adult, I can truly say that there were concepts and ideas that I wouldn't have been able to grasp the first time I read this book. Orwell made it a very dynamic and complex book and with reason. If there are individuals out there that are really interested in the structure of any government whether it be communist or capitalist this is definitely the book to pick up. 

I didn't think that I would rate this book any higher than 3 stars but I'm happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone looking for a shorter classic to read. I will be reading more works by Orwell.

13 March 2018

Top 10 Tuesday: Most Surprising Books (In A Bad Way)

Happy Tuesday everyone! That means it's another Top Ten Tuesday! I hope everyone has been enjoying the week so far. It's cold and rainy here so I've just been dying for my bed and some good movies. Top 10 Tuesday is now hosted by Jana @ The Artsy Reader  and this weeks theme is our "most surprising books" which can either be good or bad. I went with bad and will be discussing 10 books that I thought was going to enjoy, but ended up finding horrible.

An Ember in the Ashes: So this book and I have a love hate relationship. More hate than love actually haha. I don't know what it was, but I thought I was going to love this book, but it took me forever to read and I was just frustrated with the characters and the plot. Believe it or not I still am going to give the second book a try. Drawn: I have nothing good to say about this book. I wanted a great new adult romance and I got complete trash. Romancer: I thought this was going to be great because I had the single issues, but it was awful.

Return to Wonderland: This is a trash comic book and I gave up on the series because the women in this series are objectified too much for my liking. Snotgirl: I had high hopes for this comic, but it was confusing and disgusting and not in a good way. I'm still going to read the second volume in hopes of giving it a second chance. The Swap: THE WORST children's book known to mankind. I HATED this book. I thought it would be cute; however, I found the discussion of gender to be deplorable. It was awful. Never again.

Westminster Abby: So I thought I would like this novel because it would be a cute revisit to my childhood. I was incredibly wrong and incredibly bored. I don't think I'll read anymore in this series. Yellow Brick War: This book was a huge disappointment of the series. If you ask anyone then you'll know that I love the premise of this series; however, this book failed to meet my expectations. Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe: This is book. I can't even. So click below to watch my brutal analysis of this huge disappointment of a book:

The Secrets We Keep: I thought maybe the premise of this book would make for an interesting story, BUT I was so wrong. This book was awful. I didn't like it at all. If you want to know more check out my review here.

What books were most surprising to you in a good or bad way?

12 March 2018

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Series: Track, #1
# of Pages: 192
Publication: August 30th, 2016
Source: Library Copy
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

Running. That's all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race -- and wins -- the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent. Thing is, Ghost has something else: a lot of anger, and a past that he is trying to outrun. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?

Jason Reynolds is such an amazing man. This is the second book that I've read by him and was not let down by a long shot. Ghost focuses on the challenges faced by a young boy who goes by the nickname of Ghost. Ghost is a complex character that deals with some pretty hefty issues. It is through these issues that he joins a track team and learns more about himself and others. This book was heartfelt and definitely teaches kids a great lesson about not letting certain situations define your character. If you're looking for a good place to start with Jason Reynolds I definitely recommend this book.

I was uncertain about this book when I first picked it up. I wasn't sure if I was going to relate to the main character; however, I found him hilarious and easy to relate to. I never did condone the bad things that Ghost did in the book; however, I can say that I understand why he did them. He's coming from a really troubled background and his intentions are good but sometimes he lets his environment get the best of him. I think that one of the best things that he learns in the book is not letting his circumstances define him or determine what he's going to be in the future. 

I also enjoyed the representation in this book. Reynolds took kids that seemed normal on the outside and gave the reader closer insight to their personal lives which weren't so great. This imagery helped Ghost develop into a stronger character. He blossomed and opened up when he realized that all of the kids his age were going through something. I also loved the role model that Ghost found in his coach. A lot of times it is the people who are not biological parents that help kids the most especially when they're going through tough situations like Ghost's struggle with poverty. The friendships in this book were amazing too. I loved watching Ghost go from being a loner to building a core group of friends that he trusted and cared about. 

Overall, I think that this book has a lot to offer. It presents the story of a poor inner city kid who learns valuable lessons from friends and mentors. It's such a positive book and I definitely would recommend this to someone who's interested in children's books and loves Jason Reynolds. 

11 March 2018

Sunday Post #16

Happy Sunday fellow bloggers and readers. I am back with another Sunday post hosted by the lovely caffeinated book reviewer

This week as been absolutely crazy ya'll! I'm still getting over my lung infection and school really picked up right before we started spring break. I'm exhausted, but also happy to finally get a break. This week should be relatively laid back and I should get the chance to read as much as I want without having to completely think about school. I don't have much planned for this week except work and making sure I post to my blog everyday. How has everyone's week gone? 

Animal Farm (4 Stars): This book is so brilliant and scary. I really enjoyed so many various aspects of how it related to society and government. I haven't read it since middle school; however, I'm glad I took the opportunity to re-read it. Every Heart A Doorway (4 Stars): This book was more than I expected. I knew there was a lot of hype surrounding the series, but I wasn't sure if I would be interested. Let me tell you, this book was amazing and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series. Ghost (5 Stars): If you know anything about me then you know that I absolutely love Jason Reynolds so I was excited to get the opportunity to pick up one of his books. I really enjoyed it and felt the realness behind each and every character. Upside Down Magic (3 Stars): This is a cute middle grade series for those who enjoy fantasy or magic related books. I loved the audiobook. 

  • Ghost by Jason Reynolds: Book Review
  • Top 10 Tuesday 
  • Waiting on Wednesday 
  • Mini Classic Review: Animal Farm by George Orwell 
  • Friday #56
  • Marvel Universe Movies Re-Watch 
  • Sunday Post 

09 March 2018

Friday #56, #46 The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Friday #56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's VoiceJoin in every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you've been reading. Here are the rules:

  • Grab a book 
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
  • Find any sentence (or a few, don't spoil it) 

**Be sure to post the links to your Friday #56 below!

Happy Reading!!

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 306
Publication: August 2nd, 2016
Genre: Literary Fiction/Magical Realism
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor - engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven - but the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

This is probably one of the most difficult books that I have ever read. Whitehead challenges perceptions of the Underground Railroad and the entire concept of slavery. I am thoroughly enjoying it; however, the content is making me read it a little bit slower than expected.

"Cora was acquainted with this squeamish quality of Loveys, but she did not recognize the other side of her friend, whatever had overtaken the girl and made her run. But ever slave thinks about it. In the morning and in the afternoon and in the night. Dreaming of it. Every dream a dream of escape even when it didn't look like it. When it was a dream of new shoes. The opportunity stepped up and Lovey availed herself, heedless of the whip."

What are you reading this Friday?

08 March 2018

Wink, Poppy, Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 247
Publication: March 22nd, 2016
Source: Library E-Audiobook
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Mystery
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Sassy, comical, and true-to-life, this book tells the tale ofthree young African-American women--perky wife Valerie, scheming social worker Inda, and broken-hearted flight attendant Chiquita--and how their lives are coming together, and apart, in Los Angeles. Fresh and in-your-face, this witty novel depicts a world where women sometimes have to alter their dreams, but never have to stop embracing the future.

This was the strangest book that I’ve ever read. I went into it blind without reading the description so I was confused for about 60% of the book. It was basically written to teach people that humans are never as they appear especially when it comes to personality; however, this was a fact that I already knew so I didn’t really learn anything from the book. I can say that the plot twist did, in fact, catch me by surprise. I did not see it coming, but it still didn’t do anything for the plot.

What I did enjoy about the novel was the mysterious atmosphere. These three characters clearly have some weird things going on and it shows in their personal accounts and interactions with other humans. I think that each one of them played an integral part to the overall plot; however, I definitely could have done without Poppy. That girl, oh goodness, was the worst character that I’ve ever encountered in any YA book. Even after her story reached a conclusion and resolution, I still didn’t like her. Wink and Midnight proved that they weren’t memorable. Even as I’m writing this review I can’t really tell you anything about them except the fact that Wink was obsessed with books and fairy tales and Midnight got himself caught in a love triangle.

I understand what the author was attempting to do with this novel; however, I think that she attempted to provide an audience with a topic that is already well known. This may be good for readers who may not understand that humans are multi-dimensional; however, I don’t know too many people who don’t already know that. I guess I was expecting more from this novel. I knew that it had low ratings, but I wanted to give it a chance. And I’m glad I did because at the end of the day now I understand why people hated it so much. I don’t think I’ll be reading too much of anything else from this author unless someone gives me a superb recommendation to something else she has written. I did listen to this on audiobook which gave it a more dynamic feel. I liked that there was three different narrators to represent all of the characters. I won’t say don’t read this book; however, I don’t recommend it.

April Genevieve Tucholke is the author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Between the Spark and the Burn, and Wink Poppy Midnight. She also curated the horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. She has received five starred reviews and her novels have been chosen for the Junior Library Guild, Kids' Indie Next picks, and YALSA Teens Top Ten. When she's not writing, April likes walking in the woods with her two cheerful dogs, exploring abandoned houses, and drinking expensive coffee. She has lived in many places around the world, and currently resides in Oregon with her husband.

07 March 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday #28, A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings She has taken on a similar meme to Jills Waiting on Wednesday over at Breaking the Spine. Since Jill hasn't posted in a while I'm going to join in on this meme. To participate all you have to do is spotlight upcoming publications you're eagerly anticipating. Keep reading to see what I have chosen for this week.

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1
# of Pages: 224
Publication: May 1st, 2018
Goodreads | Amazon
The Winter Solstice. In a week. I was still new enough to being High Lady that I had no idea what my formal role was to be. If we'd have a High Priestess do some odious ceremony, as lanthe had done the year before. A year. Gods, nearly a year since Rhys had called in his bargain, desperate to get me away from the poison of the Spring Court to save me from my despair. Had he been only a minute later, the Mother knew what would have happened. Where I'd now be. Snow swirled and eddied in the garden, catching in the brown fibers of the burlap covering the shrubs My mate who had worked so hard and so selflessly, all without hope that I would ever be with him We had both fought for that love, bled for it. Rhys had died for it.

This is probably one of my most anticipated reads for the year and I haven't even finished the series. The first book was that good that I can't wait to dive into the rest of the books in this series. While I've tried to read the Throne of Glass series, I think that this resonates more with me. It's clearly written for an older age group and I appreciate that. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this book is going to bridge into the next books of the series.

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

02 March 2018

February Wrap -Up 2018

Ya'll it's March! What in the world does that even mean?? First, let me start by explaining my absence. School was really intense this past month and on top of that I have been battling a lung infection. I could not even walk fifteen feet with my chest getting extremely tight and me being unable to breathe. As a person who has asthma, this was the WORST experience of my life. I'm still sick; however, I'm doing a little bit better than before. Hopefully, I stay well for the rest of the year. Surprisingly, I did end up reading a total of 13 books. I didn't post much on the blog or my YouTube channel, but everything will be back on the up and up this month! Keep reading to see what I've completed! : )

These were my favorites of the month! Here are the other books I've read: 
  • #Nerd (Hashtag, #1) - 3 Stars
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) - 5 Stars
  • Black Panther: Who is Black Panther? - 4 Stars
  • George - 4 Stars
  • Sister, Sister - 3 Stars
  • Drawn (Drawn, #1) - 2 Stars
  • The Watsons Go To Birmingham, 1963 - 4 Stars
  • Kira-Kira - 4 Stars 
  • Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1 - 4 Stars
  • Welcome to Dead House (Goosebumps, #1) - 3 Stars
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1) - 3 Stars 

So like last year I'm focusing on a lot of stats related to my book reading! I've compiled some graphs that will show what I read during the month. This first graph illustrates the number of books I've read in certain genres. Anything with a "C" is children's. I couldn't fit the entire name in the graph. : ) 

This next graph shows the location of the authors. While I'm trying to read more diversely in this category, I am still finding that a lot of the authors are from the United States. I was able to read at least one book from three different countries so I'm really excited about that. 

I'm also keeping track of whether the authors identify as male or female. This month I actually read a book from a non-binary author and it was amazing! I'm going to try to be more diverse in this category as well. 

There are some other statistics that I'm keeping track of as well. They're listed below. 
  • Author POC: 6 out of 13 (46%)
  • Own Voices: 3 out of 13 (23%)
  • LGBT Main Character: 1 out of 13 (8%)
  • Main Character POC: 6 out of 13 (46%)
So with everything considered I think that I did a pretty good job this month in terms of reading. I hope to continue to do just as well this upcoming month. Let me know what you guys read in the comments below! : )