Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhange
Release date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow (Harper)
Series: No
Source: eARC via Edelweiss/ARC from BEA14
Length: 304 pages
Rating: Objectively good, but I got zero feels.


On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

This is the sort of book lots of people are going to love. It's the sort of book you are probably going to love, but for whatever, reason, it's a book I can only sort of vaguely appreciate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Faultless in Spite of All of Her Faults: The Unlikable Heroine

When I first started to get serious about writing stories, I was really bad at it. I was a teenager filled with hard-edged feelings that needed to be let out, and writing was how I did that. I composed epics about heroines who personified what I thought I wanted to be. I wasn't just writing fantasy stories but fantasy characters that don't exist in any genre. I wrote about girls without flaws, because I wanted to be without flaws. I wrote contemporary characters whom I thought could live in this contemporary world better than I seemed to be doing. Why did I think that? Because they were likable. They were pleasant, they were pretty, they were selfless to a martyr-like degree, and they always got the guy.

Monday, August 18, 2014

ISLA is Here! Let's Celebrate With Giveaways!

graphic made by the mega-talented Meg at Cuddlebuggery

ISLA IS HEEEEERE! *blows trumpets* *tosses confetti*When Meg, Judith, Jamie, Lindsey and Andi asked me to be a part of the official #IslaisComing tour, I replied with YESYESOMGYES because Stephanie Perkins is my jam, yo. She's a wizard, her books cause me to issue sounds as yet unmade by humans (see: my review), and few things make me happier than she shippity ship ships.

Once of the things I love most about her books (besides the swoooooons, bien sur) is how real all the characters feel to me. They have hopes, dreams, fears, and passions. Josh, the adorable boy that Isla is crushing on big time in Isla and the French Kiss, is an artist. It's not just what he loves to do, but it's who he is. Isla doesn't know what she wants to do in life, and feels very much like a blank canvas next to Josh, who is full of creativity and drive.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Review: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
Release date: August 14th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Series: No
Source: eARC from the author
Length: 228 pages


Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?
Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

My review of Dangerous Girls, which is not a prequel but you should really read it anyway okay go read it I'll wait

*sits* *blinks* Asfsgkd. Words? How do words? WHAT IS WORDS.

Abigail Haas has the unique ability to turn my brain to fondue. She is one of the authorial wizards I was talking about who gets me to love things I normally wouldn't and think and feel things I didn't know I could think and feel. By the time I finish reading on of her dark, twisted, trhilling novels, I no longer recognize myself. I, like, Chloe, become intoxicated by the glittering darkness and the pull of this...something that Haas infuses into her stories. She peels apart the layers of human desire and desperation and makes the face the ugly truth about what lies behind them. About what lies inside of you.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

When Authors Are Wizards

I was having a conversation with Meg and Christina about a certain book that contains a certain ship. Meg and I love this book and ship this ship unabashedly, totally, crazily; Christina nearly did, but she pointed out a lot of flaws in the bookish relationship. And the crazy thing is that normally, those issues would bother both Meg and me. Things like infidelity, lying, general shipping idiocy, lack of communication, etc. These are things I'd complained about in many a review before, flinging all kinds of reactions gifs at the internet to illustrate how DONE I was with that ship and their unshippability. But this book? This book, I shipped it like fire.

Why? Because that author is a wizard.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Release date: August 14th, 2014
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Series: Yes-ish, #3 in the Anna and the French Kiss series of companions
Source: ARC from the publisher
Length: 358 pages
Rating: ASDHFJSDFKAJSD SQUEEEE *flips table* *runs in circles* *collapses*


From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

This review is SPOILER FREE for Isla.

My review of Anna and the French Kiss | My review of Lola and the Boy Next Door

Stephanie Perkins does things to my heart. I don't know how she does it, precisely; the only possible explanation I can come up with is that she is some kind of romance wizard, and that she has a fortress wherein she practices shipping magic, and she has perfected some kind of mystical formula to achieve maximum adorableness.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Release date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Yes, #1 in the The Lone City series
Source: eARC via Edelweiss/ARC from BEA
Length: 358 pages
Rating: I quite liked it, despite some flaws... until the instalove rained all over this shiny parade.


The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

I just can't resist the lure of a shiny, pretty cover. The Jewel has been accurately described as a mix of familiar dystopian tales (though The Jewel is, to my eye, NOT classic science fiction dystopian. I'd classify this as a fantasy with dystopian elements.). I'd break it down as The Selection with a splash of The Hunger Games and heavy helpings of The Handmaid's Tale. As you may or may not know, I have a... um... complicated relationship with The Selection. So what does that mean for The Jewel?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book Haul, or the One in Which I'm Still Really Lazy

I mean to film another vlog this week with all the books I got in London but... well, I'm still really lazy, so here are the books I received this week and the vlog will get pushed to next week and OH WELL. Also this week was a pretty good week for me, bookwise. I did not go too crazy with the buying.