Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Confederacy of DNFs


It's been all quiet on the blogging front this week, but for good reason: I'm on vacation! In Africa! My extended family and I are in South Africa right now and head to Botswana today and to say this trip has been one of the best of my life would be an UNDERSTATEMENT. Anyway, I'm getting time for reading, but not much time for blogging. So let's do this the quick and dirty way, shall we?

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The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
Release date: June 10th, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow (Harper)
Series: Yes, #1 in the The Murder Complex series
Source: ARC via Edelweiss
Length: 398 pages

I think this is a case of both "didn't read at the right time" and "not for me". The writing wasn't grabbing me, and while I wasn't having issues connecting to the main character, it just felt VERY MUCH like I'd read this book before. It didn't feel like anything new was being done with the severe dystopian elements at play, and I was even confused by some of the worldbuilding going on. Maybe I'll give this another stab (heh GET IT because people die in The Murder Complex) some other day.

Anatomy of a Misfit

Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes
Release date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: No
Source: ARC from BEA
Length: 336 pages

This book is SOOOOO not for me. I read very little of it, but I could tell by only a few pages of the MC's narrative voice that this wasn't going to work. It was clearly going for a funny, provocative, tell-it-like-it-is thing, but mostly I wanted to stuff a sock in the narrator's mouth. Then I flipped to the end because I'm a terrible human and saw what the big ending plot development is and NOPE HARD PASS NOT FOR ME.

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Girl in Reverse by Barbara Stuber
Release date: May 13th, 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. Elderberry (Simon & Schuster)
Series: No
Source: ARC via Edelweiss
Length: 336 pages

I want to get back to this book someday, but the writing just wasn't cutting it for me. It's a huge shame, because I love the concept and the diversity and the promise of a journey to find one's self and racism and etc. But the scenes felt rushed and muddled to me, so I had to stop.

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Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Release date: June 3rd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: No
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
Length: 352 pages

Definitely not for me. I wanted to love this book because I ADORE the concept, but I couldn't connect to our two narrators at all and found their voices so grating that I found myself making a face at my Kindle as I read. And just like with Anatomy of a Misfit, I took a peek at the end and ALSO NOPE not for me.



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Book Haul, or the One with Isla and the Fangirl Ever After




ISLA. AND FANGIRL. BUT MOSTLY ISLA. (Also I'm in South Africa right now SURPRISE) (BUT ISLAAAAA) (and some other stuff)



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne


Review: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
Goodreads 
Release date: July 8th, 2014
Publisher: Disney*Hyperion
Series: Yes, #1 in the Midnight Thief duology
Source: ARC from the publisher
Length: 368 pages
Rating: Like a glass of water at room temperature.

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Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives



This review is a killer one for me to write, and I've been putting it off for a few days. On paper, Midnight Thief is everything I love. Look at that synopsis! It's like Blackburne was pulling idea from a "Things Gillian Loves" hat. Thieves! Asassins! Knights! VICIOUS WARRIORS WHO RIDE BLOODTHIRSTY WILDCATS. SIGN ME UP.

Sadly not this kind of wildcat but CAN YOU IMAGINE
 I predicted that this would be one of my top reads of the year. And then I started.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Gooooooooooal!: YA Soccer


If you follow me on Twitter, you miiiight have noticed that I'm pretty into soccer/football and all things related to World Cup including very attractive soccer players. Okay, perhaps obsessed is a more accurate word. I make a point to watch every single game I can, I root for my favorites, cry when they lose, shriek when they win.


I expected to be tweeting into the void with all my soccer-induced all caps-ing, but I was delighted to discover that so many people in my bookish corner of the internet also care about soccer (or football, as everybody but us Americans call it, for reasons I am too lazy to Google). And so that got me thinking about some of my favorite YA books with soccer!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Book Haul, or the One with the Red, White and Books




Still waiting on the missing mystery package (le sob) BUT a very exciting package is coming for me on Tuesday and I am literally counting down the hours (and damn near close to counting down the seconds because EEEE IT'S COMING). But I bought myself some loverly reads this week:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook


Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook
Goodreads 
Release date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
Series: No
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
Length: 384 pages
Rating: That was unexpectedly WONDERFUL.

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In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.


I'm a fantasy girl. I like witches. Dragons. Assassins. Princesses. Thieves. So what does it say that I put down my high fantasy YA read in favor of Magnolia? Well, it says this is a damn good contemporary, that's what it says.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West


Review: On the Fence by Kasie West
Goodreads 
Release date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: No
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
Length: 320 pages
Rating: Sunshine in my soul

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She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.



Fun? DEFINITELY. Original? Not really. Endearing? HELL YES. Kasie West is an auto-read, auto-buy author for me, and while I didn't love On the Fence as much as The Distance Between Us (which I CRAZY LOVES, so it's a pretty high bar), I still could not put OtF down. And oh, my soul needed this joy, you guys. I was in a low point where all the things were sad and I just needed a ray of Kasie West contemporary sunshine to shatter the darkness.


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The clouds parted and LO, A KASIE WEST NOVEL APPEARED!