Top Tep Tuesday: Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait For

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This week, The Broke and the Bookish is asking for the Top Ten Sequels (I’m going with any upcoming book in a series) I Can’t Wait For.

  1. Winter – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  2. The rest of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
  3. The Well of Ascension – and the rest of the Mistborn series) by Brandon Sanderson – I had so many #mistbornfeels and then it took me a while to get the next book and I’m nervous about jumping back in
  4. The Missing – The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst – I read this book was cancelled, but I’m holding out hope
  5. The Winner’s Crime – The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  6. The Vanishing Throne – The Falconer by Elizabeth May – FINALLY BECAUSE THAT CLIFFHANGER
  7. The Boy Who Lost Fairyland – Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente
  8. Fairest – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  9. Symbiont – Parisitology by Mira Grant – this is supposed to come out in a few weeks and I’ve seen/heard NOTHING
  10. This Shattered World – Starbound by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
  11. Salt and Stone – Fire and Floor by Victoria Scott
  12. Golden Son – Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  13. Rewind – Newsflesh by Mira Grant – 2016 WHYYYYY

 

Coffee Talk: DNS vs DNF

coffeetalk1DNF is a term I learned before book blogging, but I first heard about it in relation to running a race. In the running world, there is also DNS – Did Not Start.

I’m “guilty” of the DNF, though I don’t actually feel any guilt. The thing I do feel bad about is the DNS, which also happens quite often and always for the same reason: I get behind on books and everyone reads and dislikes one before I get to it. If I’m reading reviews for a book that has everything I hate in it, I’m going to skip it without ever giving it a chance.

I mark books I opt to skip in a different way than books I’ve finished or DNFed on my giant TBR spreadsheet, so I know that I haven’t just not read them yet. As I DNS more books, I find that my TBR is REALLY not getting any smaller.

Unlike with the DNFed books, I don’t send in reviews for these. I’ve been letting them ruin my Netgalley ratio, but I’m thinking about starting to send in a little message so I can clear the titles off all my various dashboards and lists.My dilemma with this is: Do I just use the same little thing I use for when I DNF or should I say that I didn’t even attempt it due to an overwhelming amount of negative reviews (but in a nicer way probably)?

I’m interested in hearing how others handle this – do you at least try to read every book or have you given up like I have?

California, Here We Come

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Title/Author: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis
Publication Date/Publisher: September 23, 2014/Katherine Tegen Books
Series: Not a Drop to Drink #2
Source and Format: I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Rating: 4 stars

 
From Goodreads:
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

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I’m disappointed that this turned out to be a secret series, but I’m very happy with the book. In a Handful of Dust is more companion than sequel – so not remembering everyone (or exactly what happened in Not a Drop to Drink) wasn’t much of a hindrance.

All grown up now, Lynn and Lucy are trekking across the country to get to California. They come up against impossible choices and keep going anyway. I am so in love with their relationship: part mother/daughter, part sisters – but equal. They take care of each other, they each get a say. It’s really great to see how much they love and trust each other and makes me want friendship like that.
Now please, just leave this series as is. I mean, I would read another book in this world, but I would be disappointed that it’s being forced into a series.

We think we can make honey without sharing in the fate of bees

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Title/Author: The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Publication Date/Publisher: October 6th 2014/ Scripturient Books
Series: No
Source and Format: I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Rating: 2 stars

 

From Goodreads:

The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?

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Two sad little stars because 1 star is basically a hate-read. The Body Electric was slooooow felt soooo looooooong.

 

It’s future-y and cyborg-y and was really only interesting for me from 10-40%. It’s hard to read and keep up with a character who does so much internal debating and struggling with “who am I?” and I just didn’t care for, or about, Ella.

I’m super not on board with the relationship. The government and history is hard to keep track of, and it took me 4 days to skim this. They pay-off wasn’t worth it for me.

The Body Electric is my first taste of Beth Revis and I’ would be interested in reading some of her other work….but that’s future-y and space-y, right?

Life is More Than Just Being Alive

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Title/Author: Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
Publication Date/Publisher: October 14, 2014/HarperCollins
Series: No
Source and Format: I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Rating: 2 stars
From Goodreads:
When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do… or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden… until now.

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As far as 62% into Even in Paradise I still had no idea what it was about or what might be happening. By the time the reveal happens I was soooo not into reading this anymore because I just didn’t care. I can’t be left slogging through hundreds of pages of nothing to be hit over the head with something like that.

I really thought that a book that takes place in a boarding school and in Nantucket would be a home run for sure, but neither setting was used to the full potential. I couldn’t get a handle on any of the characters, even Charlie and I spent almost 400 pages inside her head. I don’t think a character needs to make every decision I think they should make, but it would be nice to feel like I know why they’re making the decisions they do, and I didn’t have that with Even in Paradise.

Maybe I’m just tired of all The Great Gatsby-ness of 2014? Can we not continue this into 2015 please?
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The Great Gatsby meets Looking for Alaska is extremely correct. It’s got the worst of both of those books.

Paperback Recap: October

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OCTOBERRRRR IS OVERRRRR?! I might normally reflect on how fast time is going but I’m focusing more on my impending mortality. Let’s just reflect on the things that happened, like starting a new job that keeps me from doing as much reading as I want and how I read like 10 blog posts by other people all month.

I spent my favorite night, Halloween, buying a new phone and saying peace out to the iphone, which I hated almost since the day I got it two years ago. I went through 3 iphones in 3 months because of issues with the phone – I never dropped it and cracked the screen. I will give myself some Life Achievement points for that one. I am now the proud and confused owner of a Windows phone and I love it so far (I’ve had it two days as I write this).

 

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Favorite Books in October: BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE IT FINALLY HAPPENED, Althea & Oliver, and Code Name Verity on audio, which I did not finish in October but I listened to 95% of it and I need to tell everyone how amazing the audio is and how I cried so much more this time around which is dangerous because I was driving. I read a depressing 15 books in October, so I really need to step it up so Goodreads stops telling me about how I’m behind in my goal. Remember when I was consistently 14 books ahead of my goal?

Favorite Movie/TV in October: I finished Doctor Who re-watch (I stopped at The Angels Take Manhattan so as not to suffer Clara overload). Still plugging away through Gilmore Girls instead of getting caught up on anything else – I’m about done with Season 3. I realize now that I don’t like any of the love interests for Rory, especially now that Dean is only Sam to me. I also revealed on twitter that I never watched the last season when it originally aired.

Favorite Musical Discovery in October: I don’t think I listened to anything new. Boring.

Favorite PR of October: I put in a lot of work in October and I’m pretty happy with these numbers. Fran – 7:09 RX// 2RM Back Squat @ 215 – first rep was okay, second rep was super ugly but I stood it up//All in one day: 1RM Back Squat @ 230, 1RM Bench Press @ 135, 1RM Deadlift @ 275 (attempted 285 and bailed early)//Snatch @ 103//Clean and Jerk @ 133. I hadn’t had a Snatch or C&J PR since probably November 2013, and these were both only like 5 pound increases, but it felt really good to announce my short term goals on a Monday (Back Squat my goal for the year – 125, which I obviously blew out of the water – and PR both Olympic lifts) and complete them all by Thursday. In November I want to Front Squat 200, really test my Overhead Squat, and keep plugging away to get my back squat to my new goal…250!

Top Blog Thing in October: I participated in the Sunnydale Project this year and it was amazing to get to talk about how much I love Buffy and read about how much everyone else loves Buffy and just…Buffy. You can read my guest post at Bookish Comforts.

Top Blog Search Term in October: I don’t know what this person was looking for, but “falling in love boys girl ber tatto”.

 

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I know up there I said Halloween was my favorite, but I forgot about Thanksgiving. So, I can’t wait for the holiday we’ve made all about eating tons of food because I’m all about that. I have a giveaway going on right now that’s about to end, and I have a few other giveaways planned leading up to the holiday season.

Delirium Series Review

Let me preface this by saying that I first read Delirium and Pandemonium back in 2012. A few months ago I did an audio re-read of those books so I could finally get Requiem off my shelves. I’d heard things. The kicker was the Epic Reads awards earlier this year when a bunch of (probably) young girls voted that a world without love would be worse than a world without water.

I meant to do this as a vlog, but I’m lazy and technologically impaired and it’s been like 4 months now, so I’m just posting this to clear it out of my review drafts. That’s basically my entire feeling towards the series: just get it over with so I can get rid of it.

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First read in September 2012 – 4 stars. Audio re-read in June 2014 – 3 stars because I’m feeling generous. I’m giving this series another go so I can finally finish it and possibly get the books off my shelves.
I have matured a lot as a reader since my first read of Delirium, because the story makes me angry now (this might be leftover from that Epic Reads Oscar voting thing earlier this year where people voted that a world without love was worse than a world without water and I still can’t even). Lena is a regular 17 year old girl who becomes too obsessed with her boyfriend, unfortunately for her love is considered an illegal and infectious disease. Alex is so completely bland I can’t stand it – just because he was never cured he has a great love of poetry? He’s still a 19 year old boy, and he’s totally stupid. Who shows up to a middle of the night kidnapping on a loud-ass motorcycle? Ugh, go back to the wild. PLEASE STOP DESCRIBING THINGS OTHER THAN FOOD AS DELICIOUS.

 

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First read in September 2012, audio reread in June 2014 – I’d like to change my rating from 4 stars to 2, but like I say below I really believe it’s mostly the narrator’s fault that I had such a hard time with Pandemonium this time around. Same narrator (Sarah Drew from Gray’s Anatomy, a show I’ve never seen and also the voice of Stacy on Daria which makes me like her a little more now, and she was also in the episode of Supernatural where that nerd used magic to switch bodies with Sam), though she’s changed how she pronounces Hana and I don’t like the new way. Okay. So. Lena was ready to escape into the wilds with Alex, because of their TRU LURVE or whatever. Now that she’s there without him, she’s suddenly distraught about being around men and goes back to being afraid and it’s like why did the first book even happen? Was she planning on not living with Alex? HAHAHAHA I FORGOT ABOUT JULIAN HE’S TIED FOR THE WORST WITH ALEX. Alex’s major offense is extreme blandness, while Julian peeps on Lena while she is bathing and just shrugs it off like “I was never allowed to see boobs, and now here are boobs” and then they continue on like it’s fine. I’m not enjoying the then and now/flashback storytelling. I can’t tell if Pandemonium (and the entire series I guess) is overwritten, or if the voice actor is over voice-acting.

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I have not previously read this, so all of my reactions are for the first time. Dual POV between Lena and Hana – I hate when a series switches to dual POV. At least it’s not Lena/Alex or something. Requiem is 100% about Lena trying to make Alex jealous with Julian. Hana’s side of the story is about her horrible husband-to-be and literally this did not need the dual POV AT ALL. And that was not an ending. I didn’t care about ANY of the characters coming into Requiem, but any kind of outcome for anyone would have been preferable to that.

And that’s that. I wrote those reviews back in June when I did the series read. I can say that I honestly don’t even remember what happens at the end of Requiem, but I think it’s probably better that way.

When You Hit the Shore, Burn the Ships

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Title/Author: Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho
Publication Date/Publisher: October 9, 2014/Viking Juvenile
Series: No
Source and Format: I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Rating: 5 stars

From Goodreads:

What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?

Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.

Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love—and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good.

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Althea & Oliver is an absolutely stunning debut. It lost me a little bit in the middle when it went unexpected places, but I caught up and fell back in love.

Althea & Oliver is really Althea’s story, obviously, since she’s the one who is awake. It’s what she does, how her life goes on, as Oliver sleeps for weeks and maybe months at a time. It’s dual perspective-y, but it’s mainly Althea.

I was apprehensive to start this due to the less than 4 star rating on Goodreads. I know it doesn’t REALLY mean anything and there’s no accounting for taste, but I understand why a lot of people probably don’t like this one. I read some of those reviews and I get it, but those are probably people who voted that a world without love would be a worse place to live than a world without water, so. Don’t let that keep you from reading Althea & Oliver like I almost did.

Althea is definitely a girl who would sit at my lunch table. The hair and the boots and the PRB ice berg. She would need us while Oliver sleeps.

Althea & Oliver is all about best friends. The push and the pull. You know the feeling you would get in high school when  your best friend was out sick? It’s that, times infinity. I didn’t love Oliver the way I love Althea because I’m always going to choose the girl in the pleated plaid skirt and combat boots.

I can’t wait for more from Moracho!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Want to Re-Read

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This week, The Broke and the Bookish is asking for the Top Ten Books I want to re-read. I just did this topic back in July, but I’ve been an audio re-reading machine since then and I think I’ve crossed enough off that list to make be not quite the same.

  1. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley: I keep saying this is my favorite book, but how do I KNOWWWW it’s still my favorite after all the amazing books I’ve read since?
  2. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: I was afraid to read it and now I’m afraid to re-read it.
  3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor: This series just ended this year, so it seems a little too soon to do a full series read AGAIN after only six months
  4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: I have this audiobook checked out right now, and will probably have started it by the time this goes live since. I’ve heard amazing – no, AMAZING – things about this audio and I’m very excited to start it even if Wil Wheaton might kind of bug me for no real reason.
  5. Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness: Remember that time I DNFed The Knife of Never Letting Go after like 3 pages because of the dog talking about poo, Todd? HAHAHAHA I was so young and stupid.
  6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: I have this beautiful hot pink hardback and while I really love to just look at it and admire it’s beauty, I would also be interested in putting the words on the inside in my head again.
  7. Neil Gaiman: All of Neil Gaiman, but especially the Sandman graphic novels.
  8. Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer: Ooooh, I should see if the library has this on audiobook. (They do not.)
  9. God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo: Maybe they have THIS ONE on audio. (They do not.)
  10. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin: Okay, so. Whenever Winds of Winter is finally out, I’m going to need a refresher. The TV series is just similar enough that I can remember the first 3 books, but I’m definitely going to need to re-read at LEAST A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. I will probably do a mix of audio and actual reading to speed up the process.

SPECIAL APPEARANCES BY Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, and Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson because I really love books that completely destroy me for some reason.

Review: Girl Talk – Unsoliticited Advice for Modern Ladies

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Title/Author: Girl Talk by Christie Young
Publication Date/Publisher: August 26, 2014/Potter Style
Series: No
Source and Format: I received this book for free from the publisher via Blogging for Books. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Rating: 4 stars

 

From Goodreads:

Combining etiquette tips with true stories from her own not always quite together life, Christie Young proves herself to be adept around managing life’s vicissitudes. Whether you seek advice on handling running out of booze during the holidays or running into your ex on the subway, Girl Talk offers the keys to coping in a world bereft of rhyme or reason.

Let’s talk about:

• Realizing you look exactly like your boyfriend’s sister
• Overthinking text messages and analyzing emoticons
• Looking calm in a bar alone (without the help an iPhone)
• Accidentally stealing something from the farmer’s market
• Choosing between getting to work on time or showering
• Responding to a sexy text your uncle meant to send to his girlfriend
• Organizing your wardrobe, from crop tops to bolo ties
• Handling a roommate who rents out your living room to strangers
• Kicking your Netflix sci-fi marathon habit

And much, much more.

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I’m not the intended audience for Girl Talk, but I loved it just the same! I was sold as soon as I saw the cover and I was pleasantly surprised to find pages full of hand-lettering and illustrations inside.

I would put the target age at girls from 18-22: girls who are ready to leave home for the first time. I still enjoyed the humor and some of the tips (even recipes!), though I’m old and married and not really worried about Craigslist roommates at this point in my life.

I bet Christie Young is an awesome girlfriend and I would totally follow her on tumblr.