Review: Changers Book One: Drew by T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper

Changers Book One: Drew
Author: T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper
Genre: Young Adult
Published: February 4th, 2014
Publisher: Akashic Books
Source: Giveaway via PaperLanternLit
Find: Goodreads
The cheerleader, the nerd, the jock, the freak. What if you had to be all four?

Changers Book One: Drew opens on the eve of Ethan Miller’s freshman year of high school in a brand-new town. He’s finally sporting a haircut he doesn’t hate, has grown two inches since middle school, and can’t wait to try out for the soccer team. At last, everything is looking up in life.

Until the next morning. When Ethan awakens as a girl. Ethan is a Changer, a little-known, ancient race of humans who live out each of their four years of high school as a different person. After graduation, Changers choose which version of themselves they will be forever—and no, they cannot go back to who they were before the changes began.

Ethan must now live as Drew Bohner—a petite blonde with an unfortunate last name—and navigate the treacherous waters of freshman year while also following the rules: Never tell anyone what you are. Never disobey the Changers Council. And never, ever fall in love with another Changer. Oh, and Drew also has to battle a creepy underground syndicate called “Abiders” (as well as the sadistic school queen bee, Chloe). And she can’t even confide in her best friend Audrey, who can never know the real her, without risking both of their lives.

With a such a crazy concept, I knew it was going to be a fun ride, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hesitant at first. By the end, however, I was captivated by this moving insightful story, and Ethan/Drew really stole my heart. There were some tough and sensitive subjects, but T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper handled them with tact and care, and most of my worries dissolved.

At first, I was wary of how the authors would handle a teenage boy transforming into a girl. I mentally prepared myself for over exaggerated gender stereotypes and crude humor.  I was ready to cringe if Drew looked down her shirt and was utterly amazed at her boobs or if she started crying about how it was the end of the world now that she was a girl. Imagine my surprise when none of that happened. There were a few gender stereotypes mentioned, but they weren't used as a punchline for a funny joke. Instead, Drew was able to empathize and grow as a person in these situations. In fact, Changers Book One really stole my heart by the end. Drew's experiences the perfect blend of humor and sincerity, and it left me feeling so much that I didn't want the story to end.


High School Classics I Never Had To Read

So this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic was about popular authors whom I've never read, and I automatically knew I would have no trouble completing that list. It started to get me thinking, though, on how many classic books I've also never read. When I think about my high school/college curriculum, I realized I managed to get away without reading a lot of the more popular classics. I don't mean those classics that were assigned to me and I skimmed through with the help of Sparknotes - that would be an entire list altogether. I mean the list of classics that none of my teachers ever required me to read.

    1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    3. Animal Farm by George Orwell
    4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    5. 1984 by George Orwell
    6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    7. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
    8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
    9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    10. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    11. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan


Top Ten Tuesday (11): Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for March 3rd is:

Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read


Waiting on Wednesday (9): Confessions by Kanae Minato

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight some upcoming releases that we're impatiently tapping our feet for. It's a great way to to keep track of some of the most anticipated releases amongst other book bloggers and a new way to discover books yourself.

This week I'm looking forward to:

Author: Kanae Minato
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Mulholland Books
To be published: August 19th, 2014
Find: Goodreads
Her pupils killed her daughter. Now, she will have her revenge.

After an engagement that ended in tragedy, all Yuko Moriguchi had to live for was her four-year-old child, Manami. Now, after a heartbreaking accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation.

But first, she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that will upend everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a maniacal plot for revenge.

Narrated in alternating voices, with twists you'll never see coming, Confessions probes the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in harm's way. You'll never look at a classroom the same way again.

I'm bringing back this meme on my blog just for this week, because I'm actually really really excited for this book. The Japanese 2010 film adaptation of this book is one of my favorite movies, and I'm thrilled by the news that this book is finally going to be translated into English.


Top Ten Tuesday (10): Top Ten Favorite Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for February 25th is:

Top Ten Tuesday REWIND: Top Ten Favorite Covers

For this week, we're allowed to choose a previous topic to talk about, so this week, I want to talk about some nice eye candy.


Review: The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy #3) 
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
To Be Published: February 25th, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Find: Goodreads
One war.
Too many deadly battles.
Can a king save his kingdom, when his own survival seems unlikely?

War has come to Carthya. It knocks at every door and window in the land. And when Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in a plot to bring Carthya to its knees, Jaron knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. But everything that can go wrong does.

His friends are flung far and wide across Carthya and its neighbouring lands. In a last-ditch effort to stave off what looks to be a devastating loss for the kingdom, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves. But even with his lightning-quick wit, Jaron cannot forestall the terrible danger that descends on him and his country. Along the way, will he lose what matters most? And in the end, who will sit on Carthya's throne?

Rousing and affecting, Jaron's adventures have thrilled and moved readers in The False Prince and The Runaway King. Journey once again with the Ascendant King of Carthya, as New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen brings his story to a stunning conclusion with The Shadow Throne.


Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Retelling
Published: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends
Source: Own
Find: Goodreads
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
WAIT! This review may contain minor spoilers for Cinder and Scarlet. Don't continue if you haven't read it yet and want to avoid spoilers. Unless, of course, you don't mind spoilers. In that case, continue~

Confession #1: I don't want to write this review. Instead, I just want to crawl back into my bed and read Cress and the rest of the Lunar Chronicles series again and again until the pages fall out. Is it too soon to be rereading a book when I literally just finished it?

Cress is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles, a sci-fi retelling of some of our favorite fairytales, and I am pleased to say Cress is just as spell-binding as - if not more so than - the first two books. I was afraid at first that this book would mostly be fillers, as most penultimate books are, but Marissa Meyer did not let me down at all. It really helps that the format of the book is so different from most series. Each book focuses on a different heroine and retells a different fairy tale, but there's an overarching plot that ties the entire series together. There isn't any need for fillers because there's always a new story to tell.


"Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?"

He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. "No. I'm pretty sure it was Cinder.”


(Mini) Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Antigoddess (Goddess War #1) 
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: September 10th 2013
Publisher: Tor Teens
Source: Won via Publishers
Find: Goodreads
Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

I’m a sucker for stories based on Greek mythology, so it’s unsurprising that I practically devoured Antigoddess in a short amount of time. Then again, “devoured” might not be the right word to use in the context of this book when certain Greek gods are trying to postpone their deaths by destroying and consuming other gods ala the good old-fashioned Titans way. That's right, the almighty immortal gods are dying, and they're permanently stuck in the denial/anger stage.
This is what men risk so much for; this shiver, this acute heat and desire. This is what they think eternity feels like.


Top Ten Tuesday (9): Top Three Books That Will Make You Cry

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for January 28th is:

Top Ten, Er Three, Books That Will Make You Cry

I don't know if it's because I'm emotionally stunted or if it's because I subconsciously avoid the Grave of the Fireflies of the book world, but I haven't actually read that many books that managed to make me cry. There are some books that make me feel really emotional, but I can only recall three books that made me teary-eyed. And if it can make even me cry, then it's guaranteed to be good.


Weekly Roundup: January 20 - February 2

Weekly Roundup

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! It's the year of the horse! This weekend has been very busy because of the Lunar New Year celebrations, which is probably my favorite holiday and the biggest holiday in my family. It's the one holiday in the year when the entire family gathers for a big homemade dinner, firecrackers, and best of all, red envelopes ($$$). I've been away to college for the last four years, so it's my first year back celebrating LNY with my family. It was really fun catching up with family and meeting some new cousins for the first time.

Can you believe we're already a month into 2014 already? Somehow, I managed to read seven books this month, which is a good start to the year (for me). In terms of reviews, however, I am behind, but hopefully, I can catch up on some unfinished reviews this week. Look forward to them!

Oh yeah! And if you haven't been on my blog in the last few days, I have a new blog design and rating system out. Check it out!


Blog Tour: Beyond Belief by Helen Smith (Review + Excerpt)

Beyond Belief 
Author: Helen Smith
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Published: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Source: ARC via Tour Host Itching for Books
Find: Goodreads
When famed psychic Perspicacious Peg predicts a murder will occur at England’s Belief and Beyond conference, her science-minded colleagues recruit twenty-six-year-old budding sleuth Emily Castles to attend the event as a “future crimes investigator.” The suspected victim: celebrated magician Edmund Zenon, who plans to perform a daring stunt at the conference—and is offering fifty thousand pounds to any attendee who can prove that the paranormal exists.

In the seaside town of Torquay, Emily meets a colorful cast of characters: dramatic fortune-teller Madame Nova; kindly Bobby Blue Suit and his three psychic dachshunds; Sarah and Tim Taylor, devastated parents mourning their late son; and religious cult members Hilary, Trina, and the Colonel. Tensions rise as believers in science, the supernatural, and the spiritual clash with one another. But once a body count begins, Emily must excuse herself from the séances and positivity circles, and use old-fashioned detective work to find the killer.

Helen Smith is a member of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain, the Crime Writers Association and English PEN. She traveled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both--from cleaning motels to working as a magician's assistant--before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel. Her work has been reviewed in The Times, the Guardian, The Independent, Time Out and the Times Literary Supplement. Her books have reached number one in the bestseller lists in the Kindle store on both sides of the Atlantic.

Beyond Belief is a fun story that felt more like a murder mystery party than just an ordinary thriller. From the very beginning, we're thrust into the heart of the mystery and find ourselves immersed in the lives of several oddball characters all drawn together to the Beyond and Belief conference at a seaside resort by the impending fate of magician Edmund Zenon.


Top Ten Tuesday (8): Top Ten Worlds/Lives I'd Hate To Experience

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for January 28th is:

Top Ten Worlds I'd Never Want To Live In 
(Alternatively, Top Ten Characters I'd Never Want To Trade Places With)

1. Panem from The Hunger Games
This world is probably going to be on a lot of Top Ten lists this week, and with good reason. Unless I'm a citizen of the Capitol, I would not want to be a part of this world. Do I even really need to explain why?

2. Post-Apocalyptic World from The Maddaddam Trilogy
It's a frightening world indeed when you're one of the last few of your species and you have to fend yourself from giant commercial pigs with implanted human stem cells in them. I honestly don't think I'd even want to try surviving in the haunting world that Snowman must navigate through, especially knowing how it ended up that way.


Review: The Waking Engine by David Edison

The Waking Engine 
Author: David Edison
Genre: Science Fiction
To Be Published: February 11 2014
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Find: Goodreads
Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.

Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.

Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.

Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.

Oh my goodness, this book was a trip and a half. I can already tell this is a book I'll be rereading in the future more than once just to get lost in the streets of The City Unspoken, and every time, I'll still discover something new. David Edison truly is a master wordsmith and it's really amazing that all the little details and nuances that make The City Unspoken so vibrant and thriving, as well as the rest of the world building for that matter, can come from just one person's mind. There were a few times that I felt the plot was slowed down by the descriptive writing, but those moments were few and far between. Overall, I found Cooper's long journey exploring the city along with Asher and Sesstri to figure out why people are no longer Dying and why Cooper is even there in the first place epic and entertaining.
Cooper leaned against the prow of the swift but unlovely barge and couldn't help wondering how many folks back home would pay more than a finger or some back meat to have the conversations he'd had over the last week, and how miserably he'd squandered each opportunity. Still, he couldn't think of anything to ask the transcendentalist poet beside him.

"Anyway, thanks for not being a dick or trying to steal my shirt."

However, I must warn that this book is not for the young or faint of heart. If you are not okay with violence, gore, sexual situations, and some offensive material, then this isn't really for you. There were a few issues I had with it, such as the overuse of the words whore and slut, but I didn't mind the most of the adult material. Although the violence seemed over the top at times, it still fit in the context of the world. I'm not surprised that the people in The City Unspoken have turned to inventing some really creatively gory hobbies to pass the time in a world where they cannot Die with a capital D.


Moist Panties and Other Cringe-Inducing Words

A few days ago, my friends and I had a fun conversation about words like moist and panties. It's always amused me that certain words are so commonly hated. While most of my friends get a bit squeamish when they hear those two words, I never really had a problem with them. I actually like the word panties except on the rare occasions when it is preceded with the word moist, because no one wants to think about wet underwear.

The conversation made me wonder, however, if there were other words that had the same effect on me as moist and panties had on others. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that yes, there were a few words that give me the shivers and that I sometimes encountered them in my reading. It doesn't happen too often, but when these cringe-inducing words do pop up, it's still one time too many. You might not want to be eating anything when reading this list.


Top Ten Tuesday (7): Top Nine Things On My Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for January 21st is:

Top Nine Things On My Reading Wishlist
(If you could make authors write about these things you would.)

1. Epic Fantasy Standalones
I am a huge fan of epic fantasy, of heroes and heroines going on impossible quests to save their loved ones, but most epic fantasy books seem to be part of a series. Most of the time, the series format works since I get to be immersed in the fantasy world even longer, but I do hate waiting years for a story to be complete.

2. Messy Unrequited Love
It always bothered me how the couples in books just conveniently fall in love with each other at the same time. I kind of want to see more drama. Where are the unrequited loves? The messiness? Why not have a main protagonist on the losing end of a love triangle? I think it'd be pretty interesting to read.

3. Platonic Love
On the flip side, I'd also like to see more friendships between girls and guys that are just that. Friendships. Unlike what some people may say, boys and girls can just be friends without one falling in love with the other. I'd love to see more boys and girls just being best friends (like Harry and Hermione) and kicking ass without one of them being relegated as a minor character.


Weekly Roundup: January 6 - January 19

Weekly Roundup

I ended up skipping last week's weekly roundup again, and I have a feeling this is going to be a common occurrence so I've been thinking of making this feature as a biweekly thing. My life as an unemployed recent college grad doesn't really offer a lot to talk about on a weekly basis. Then again, can I still call it a Weekly Roundup? Should I change it to Biweekly Roundup or a completely new name? There are still a lot of things I want to tweak or fix on my blog, but I guess that's just the growing pains of a new blog trying to find its identity, right?

So I'm not planning to participate in Tynga's Review's Stacking the Shelves often (maybe I'll participate more often in the future), but I received some book mail this week that I'm so thankful for getting that I just had to share.

Thank you Tor Teens for Antigoddess (Goddess War #1) by Kendare Blake and Three (Article 5 #3) by Kristen Simmons, and thank you Paper Latern Lit for Changers Book One: Drew by T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper. And yes, that is an alpaca. I'm just going to include Arpakasso in all my bookmail pictures from now on., because - well, look at it! Do I really need a reason?


Waiting on Wednesday (8): The Furies by Mark Alpert

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight some upcoming releases that we're impatiently tapping our feet for. It's a great way to to keep track of some of the most anticipated releases amongst other book bloggers and a new way to discover books yourself.

At the moment, the book I'm most excited for is:

The Furies: A Thriller 
Author: Mark Alpert
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
To be published: April 22, 2014
Find: Goodreads
For centuries, the Furies have lived among us. Long ago they were called witches and massacred by the thousands. But they’re human just like us, except for a rare genetic mutation that they’ve hidden from the rest of the world for hundreds of years.

Now, a chance encounter with a beautiful woman named Ariel has led John Rogers into the middle of a secret war among the Furies. Ariel needs John’s help in the battle between a rebellious faction of the clan and their elders. The grand prize in this war is a chance to remake the human race.

Mark Alpert's The Furies weaves cutting-edge science into an ingenious thriller, showing how a simple genetic twist could have inspired tales of witchcraft and sorcery, and how the paranormal could indeed be possible.


The Book Chewers' Linkup: Top Five Literary Sidekicks/BFFs

Instead of the Top Ten Tuesdays this week, I'm going to switch things up and do The Book Chewer's Weekly Monthly Linkup instead because I really love this week's prompt. Friendships don't get nearly enough attention as romances do, so this is a post dedicated to all the best friends and sidekicks out there that have to put up with the main characters.

Prompt: Pick your 5 of your favourite literary sidekicks! (I know it's hard to do just five. Do your best.) They can be aliens/dogs/humanoids. Just not the main character! BFFs for the win!

1. Ron & Hermione from Harry Potter Series
“We’ll be there, Harry,” said Ron… “At your aunt and uncle’s house, and then we’ll go with you wherever you’re going.”
“No–” said Harry quickly; he had not counted on this, he had meant them to understand that he was undertaking this most dangerous journey alone.
“You said to us once before,” said Hermione quietly, “that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We’ve had time, haven’t we?”
“We’re with you whatever happens,” said Ron.
There is no way, no way, I could have a list of the best sidekicks in fiction without including Harry Potter's best (and first) friends. Sure they might have had a few fights along the years, but what set of best friends haven't fought at least once? The main point is that Ron and Hermione were always there for Harry, and they brought out the best in him.

Review: Hang Wire by Adam Christopher

Hang Wire
Author: Adam Christopher
Genre: Urban Fantasy
To Be Published: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Angry Robot
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Find: Goodreads
When Ted Hall's birthday dinner in San Francisco's famous Chinatown ends with an explosion, the fire department blames a gas leak, but when Ted finds strange, personalised messages from the restaurant's fortune cookies scattered around his apartment, his suspicions are aroused, particularly as his somnambulant travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer.

Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously and the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has started talking to his vintage machines. And while the new acrobat is wowing the crowds, his frequent absences are causing tension among the performers.

Out in the city there are other new arrivals, immortals searching for an ancient power which has been unleashed, awakening something awful buried deep beneath the San Andreas fault... a primal evil which, if not stopped, will destroy the entire world.

The city of San Francisco doesn't know it yet but they're on the verge of total annihilation, and it all starts with an exploding fortune cookie during the birthday of a Bay Area blogger named Ted. It actually almost happened several times before (see: 1906 earthquake), but now with the circus in town, a few gods from long forgotten mythology in the mix, and a serial killer known as the Hang Wire Killer running loose around the city, things are looking a lot more serious.

There's certainly a lot packed into this book with a little bit of everything for everyone, and yet I didn't really like it as much as I thought it would. I was really hooked by the beginning as it (quite literally) started off with a bang, but the plot quickly became convoluted and I slowly started to lose interest.

The use of multiple perspectives was probably the best way to thoroughly explain most of the plot, but it's not one of my favorite things as a reader, especially when it includes one-time chapters of people who aren't the main focus or aren't necessarily important. One particular chapter changed points of views several times without warning which made for an annoying and confusing read.


Sailor Moon Anime Reboot Finally Gets A Release Date!

I'm going to interrupt my normal book blogging schedule, just so I can say F-I-N-A-L-L-Y! My five-year-old self is pretty much screaming and jumping up and down and fainting dramatically right about now. For those of you who were/are a fan of Sailor Moon in the 90s, you probably heard about the Sailor Moon anime reboot that's been in development for a while. It was supposed to come out Winter 2014, but Winter's already arrived with still no news about the anime. Until now. The Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Project official site just updated today with the news that the new anime is slated for a worldwide release July 2014! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I'm probably embarrassing myself with how excited I am about this news, but I have so much nostalgic love for this series that the only thing that could compete with it it is Harry Potter. Sailor Moon made up a large part of my early childhood while Harry Potter took up the later half.

Where do I even start with everything that I loved about this series?

Review: Tempus by Holly Lauren

Author: Holly Lauren
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Published: November 25th 2013
Publisher: GMTA Publishing
Source: Review copy via LibraryThing
Find: Goodreads
Chapel Ryan isn't crazy. At least, that's what she's been trying to convince herself of for most of her life. But after being hallucination-free for three years, Chapel finds herself facedown on her English classroom’s gritty linoleum floor. When she looks up, everyone around her is suspended in animation. Mouths hang open mid-yawn, feet hover mid-cross, Ms. Freeman’s arm flexes mid-sentence diagram. It's another hallucination. Or, is it?

Chapel prepares to tear herself back to reality when something happens. Something that has never happened before in any of her hallucinations--someone moves. And not just any someone—it’s the new guy with a scar over his lip and a reputation as black as his perfectly styled hair. And all of the sudden Chapel's white-knuckle grip on her life has slipped, and with it, her assurance that what she's experiencing isn't real.

Tempus is everything you expect in a young adult paranormal story. It's a fast-paced read with a hearty dose of action, romance, and mystery to keep you on your toes for most of the ride. Overall, I enjoyed it as it was.

For the first 25% of the book, I was confused and thought I misunderstood the genre of the book. I had to double check and make sure this book wasn't solely a contemporary book because it focused so heavily on the high school romance. Chapel Ryan is a senior in high school, but she has no idea what she'll do after she graduates. She does know, however, that she just wants to be normal and aside from creepy stepfathers, cheating exes, and the attention of the new guy school, her life is as smooth as it gets. The only hitch is that she sometimes have "hallucinations" where time and everyone around her completely freezes. When she finally discovers what these "hallucinations" really are and that she's not alone in the world with supernatural abilities, the story starts to pick up and move at a faster pace.


Five Ways To Deal With Books That Don't Live Up To Its Hype

For the past few weeks, you've been hearing about this book over and over again in the blogging community with practically everyone giving it a four star rating or higher. Everyone's ranting and raving about just how great it is with a lot of CAPSLOCK and gifs and exclamation points! Every time you mention the series, everyone's practically screaming at you to "READ IT NOW!" When you finally do decide to pick it up and read that book, you end up with a barrage of strong emotions: Disappointment. Regret. Self-loathing. There's a little bit of guilt in there as well, but you have no idea why everyone loves this book.

I'm sure everyone's been in that situation before, or at least has been through something similar. It's not that all books that are hyped up are bad. There are legitimate reasons, after all, why a book would be popular, and the book blogging community practically thrives on word-of-mouth buzz. But what exactly am I supposed to say when I end up disapponted by a book that everyone loves? 

It's a bit of an awkward situation, but here are five common ways I talk about books that don't live up to its hype:


Waiting on Wednesday (#7)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight some upcoming releases that we're impatiently tapping our feet for. It's a great way to to keep track of some of the most anticipated releases amongst other book bloggers and a new way to discover books yourself.

At the moment, the book I'm most excited for is:

Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Little, Brown
To be published: July 14, 2014
Find: Goodreads
The X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of "super" criminals.

When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She's what's known as an illusionist...She's also a thief.

After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn't?

The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against he government that could cost them their lives.


Top Ten Tuesday (6): Top Ten Goals For 2014 (A Motivational Letter To Myself)

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that allows readers to share their lists and opinions on a number of subjects from their top ten book covers to their top ten villains.

This week's topic for January 7th is:

Top Ten (Bookish and Personal) Goals for 2014

I'm going to do this TTT a little bit differently than the rest in that it'll be in the form of a letter to myself. When it comes to motivation, there's nothing more fun than talking to yourself and throwing insults.

Dear Jackie,

Before you say anything else, let's get one thing clear: DON'T make a resolution to be more organized! It's a nice thought and you certainly could afford to learn some new organizational skills, but you make this resolution every year because it's one of the first things you can think of and it never works out. You know this, I know this, let's save the both of us the trouble and skip it altogether.

You just graduated college last year, and I know you're still unsure about how to be an actual Responsible Adult, so here are just some general goals I thought of to help you through your year. As they said in Pirates of the Caribbean, you can think of them more as guidelines than actual rules (but you're still going to feel pretty shitty if you don't meet these goals, so try your best anyway.)


Weekly Roundup: 12.23 - 01.05

I wasn't able to post a Weekly Roundup last week, so this post will be summing up the last two weeks. I can't say much about my Christmas and New Year's Eve though. They were pretty uneventful. This week, I did manage to finish reading a few books (reviews to come later this month) and write up a few scheduled posts. Yay! It's fun when you  procrastinate, but it always feels better when you are actually productive.

I'm Currently Reading

The Waking Engine
by David Edison

I'm enjoying what I read so far. The City Unspoken seems like a hauntingly beautiful place (that I would never want to visit), and Edison is a master wordsmith when it comes to imagery.


Waiting on Wednesday (#6): On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight some upcoming releases that we're impatiently tapping our feet for. It's a great way to to keep track of some of the most anticipated releases amongst other book bloggers and a new way to discover books yourself.

At the moment, the book I'm most excited for is:

On Such a Full Sea 
Author: Chang-rae Lee
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian
Publisher: Riverhead Books
To be published: January 7th, 2014
Find: Goodreads
On Such a Full Sea takes Chang-rae Lee’s elegance of prose, his masterly storytelling, and his long-standing interests in identity, culture, work, and love, and lifts them to a new plane. Stepping from the realistic and historical territories of his previous work, Lee brings us into a world created from scratch. Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in.

In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class—descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China—find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement.

In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.