Monthly Archives: July 2014

Late to the Party ARC Review – In the End by Demitria Lunetta

18712520Title:  In the End

Author: Demitria Lunetta

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: It s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she s been surviving on her own. Then one day Amy gets a call from Kay and hears the four words she had hoped she would never hear: “Dr. Reynolds has Baby.” Now it s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who helped start the end of the world. Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison turned survivor colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay s brother, who holds the key to Baby s survival.

One small slipup on this quest might not only cost Baby and Amy their lives but could also threaten the survival of the people in the After.

Huge thank you to Harper Teen and Edelweiss for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

In the After gave me all the feels. In the End gave me all the feels quadrupled. There’s something to be said about an emotionally charged post-apocalyptic novel, that yes, is about survival, but Lunetta gives us more than just instinct — this idea that you do need others to keep you sane. Amy goes rogue in this book after her beloved Baby has been stolen from her, and it sends her on the rescue mission that may not have been exactly what she thought it was when she started.

Lunetta does this amazing job of building tension and giving the reader the tools they need to understand what is going on in Amy’s mind and the world. Since this is also a direct continuation, there’s no hand holding either — this world is sick, twisted, and the humans might be far worse than the creatures they are trying to eliminate. For me, however, it was Amy’s personal journey that just kept me moving through the book, she had to save Baby, she had to make sure she was okay — their interactions were my favourite part of the first novel.

I really enjoyed a lot of the character motives in this book too. A lot of the characters are malicious, with the intent that they think they are saving people when in actuality, they are the real monsters. A lot of what these characters do are so unforgivable, so when someone is sincere in the story, it’s almost jarring because this world is such a crappy place. I liked Jacks and Brenna, and I thought they were great. I loved Amy’s maturity in the story, it’s a forced kind but very symbolic to how her world has transformed around her.

I’m not going to spoil any of this book or the series, but there were a few parts in this book that made me really emotional. I could feel like heart break in parts because the intensity and the emotion was just so spot on throughout. If you haven’t checked out this series and you want a strong zombie or survival narrative, look no further.

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ARC Review – The Zoo Box by Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke

20518978Title:  The Zoo Box

Author: Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: When Erika and Patrick’s parents leave them home alone for the night, they head straight to the attic to explore. When they open a mysterious box, hundreds of animals come pouring out! Soon the town is awash in more and more zoo animals, until Erika and Patrick discover that the tables have been turned… and the animals now run a zoo full of humans! 

Huge thank you to First Second Books for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I loved The Zoo Box. I think what I adored the most about this story is how imaginative it is — you open a box and suddenly there’s a zoo in your house, or how about the reality you once thought was real, may have been in fact… different? Erika and Patrick discover that humans are in fact, the animals on display at a “human zoo.” It may sound a touch creepy at first, but this book approaches this idea in a very genuine way — what do animals really think of us humans?

I really enjoyed the simplicity of this story. The art fits the story its telling, the characters are really sweet and fun, and it’s just such a crazy idea. I love how the element of make-believe gets turned completely on its head, though if I were Erika and Patrick’s parents, I don’t think I’d trust either of those children to be home alone!

Overall, this is a great little graphic novel for young readers, especially even reluctant ones. There’s lots of creativity and humour, and I think this is one parents should definitely check out if they have kids who love zany plotlines and animals!

 

Book Review – A Love for the Pages by Joy Penny

22441497Title:  A Love for the Pages

Author: Joy Penny

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Kiss. Marry. Kill. Nineteen-year-old June Eyermann has always known exactly which of her favorite Byronic heroes goes where. She’d kiss moody and possessive Rochester from Jane Eyre and marry prideful but repentant Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, leaving obsessive and spiteful Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights to be chucked off a cliff—but no. She couldn’t leave any of her heroes behind. She lives for her favorite fictional worlds.

But June is about to get a serious wake up call when she returns home for the summer after her college freshman year. Stuck somewhere between feeling like a kid again under her parents’ roof and being forced to start acting like an adult with worries about her future career, June looks at the library volunteer position offered to her as a way to keep her sanity for the next few months before she can go back to school.

What June doesn’t expect to find at the library is her favorite romantic heroes brought to life—all in the same man. Obstinate, prideful and even a bit rude, Everett Rockford shouldn’t exactly be “dating material,” even if June’s heart rate accelerates whenever she’s near him. But after discovering his enigmatic past and witnessing a few fiery moments of tenderness, June can’t help but see Rochester, Darcy and even Heathcliff in Everett. If she’s going to make it through the summer without becoming a tragic heroine in her own story, she has to separate the man from the ideals of fiction in her head. Because if there’s one thing she knows about Byronic love stories, it’s that they don’t always end happily ever after.

Huge thank you to Joy Penny for a copy of her book!

Sam’s Review:

I’ll admit, A Love for the Pages was a touch out of my comfort zone in the sense that I haven’t read a lot of New Adult and I’m not big on Byronic classics (although Jane Austen and I? We are buddies!). I’m happy I read this book though because I think it has a lot of honesty and heart, something I appreciate when I a read a contemporary story.

June doesn’t entire know what she wants to do with her life and she’s lost. She’s gets treated fairly poorly by people around her and yet, I appreciate that she’s someone whose willing to offer a second chance to make a mends and start over. She felt very real to me, and I loved her characterization because I could understand where she was coming from. Sometimes books are this wonderful escape from reality, but sometimes reality is something we need to face, whether we like it or not.

I think the thing that threw me with this book was how fast June and Everett fell for each other. There wasn’t much of a build in their romance, and yet Penny crafted this really solid friendship for them. So it goes from being friends to lovers lightning quick and it just didn’t entirely work for me. I did like that they got to know each other, but holy moley relationship, Batman!

However, I enjoyed the Austen aspects of this book. I loved that June comments on how her life has these Austen-esque qualities and any time she talked about her favourite books, I was just instantly connected. I think, however, I wished there was more personality from some of the secondary characters, because someone of them felt very one-dimensional, particularly Isla, Cooper, and even June’s friends. I wanted a bit more personality from the other characters because they were semi-important to the progress of the story and June’s development even.

However, regardless of my problems with the book, I did enjoy it a lot and I’d be interested to see what the author does next. I think it has a lot of promise and June really was a fantastic character to follow, and I appreciate that Penny captured her the way she did. June felt so real and her problems were easy to sympathize with. If anything, June is the real reason you read this book, because she’s wonderfully thought out and someone I think many of us can relate to. I’d be interested to see how a sequel could be spun from this, but I am equally content with how the story ending. Other then for poor Sinjin. My heart broke for him!

If you want to check out this book, you can purchase it on KoboAmazonNook and The Book Depository! Remember to support great independent authors!

Book-tube-a-thon Wrap up!

BtBM7qYIIAAY1YxNumber of books completed: 10

Number of pages read: 2833

Cups of Tea Had: 2 a day was the average.

Reading Challenges Completed: 7/7

A book with pictures.
Start and finish a series.
A book with red on the cover.
A book someone else picks out for you. (Selected by my co-blogger, River!)
A book from the genre you’ve read the least this year.
A book to movie adaptation (Read the book, now to grab the movie from the library!)
Read seven books.

Completed Books:

Golden by Jessi Kirby (Challenge Completed: A book someone else picks out for you.) – 277 pages.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Challenge Completed: A book with pictures) – 233 pages.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (Challenges Completed: A book to movie adaptation/genre you’ve read the least: horror) – 399 pages

Sleepless Knight by James Sturm – 40 pages

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (Challenge Started: 3 out of 3 books completed for this series) – 276 pages.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (Challenge Completed: A book with red on the cover) – 417 pages

Codename: Sailor V, Vol. 1, by Naoko Takeuchi – 276 pages

It’s Not Summer Without You, by Jenny Han – 288 pages

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley – 336 pages

We’ll Always Have Summer, by Jenny Han – 291 pages

Commentary:

I completed all the challenges for #booktubeathon! I am so happy! It didn’t quite work out with my original set TBR (I didn’t get to Tokyo Vice, but it was the only book I didn’t get to) and I read more than I expected myself to. I’ll definitely be doing this event again, but I had some very good and productive reading days. I finished the Summer trilogy, which I thought was all right — I didn’t love it as much as I thought I did, but some of the character changes within each book was a bit too jarring for my tastes (Especially Jeremiah the cheater! That came out of left field considering his previous characterization). Still, I liked Han’s prose a lot and I am going to check out her newest book.

I am also said that I finished the Grisha Trilogy, and I feel like it’s going to be hard for me to say goodbye to that world since I’m still thinking about it. I also loved ALL the graphic novels I read during the week, and I think they are all worth checking out.

But for now, I am pooped. Have an awesome Monday!

Book-tube-a-Thon Day #4 & 5 Update

Number of books completed: 7

Number of pages read: 2206

Currently Reading:  Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Cups of Tea Had: 1 / 1

Reading Challenges Completed: 5/7

A book with pictures.
Start and finish a series.
A book with red on the cover.
A book someone else picks out for you. (Selected by my co-blogger, River!)
A book from the genre you’ve read the least this year.
A book to movie adaptation (Read the book, now to grab the movie from the library!)
Read seven books.

Completed Books:

Golden by Jessi Kirby (Challenge Completed: A book someone else picks out for you.) – 277 pages.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Challenge Completed: A book with pictures) – 233 pages.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (Challenge Completed… Sorta: A book to movie adaptation) – 399 pages

Sleepless Knight by James Sturm – 40 pages

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (Challenge Started: 2 out of 3 books completed for this series) – 276 pages.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (Challenge Completed: A book with red on the cover) – 417 pages

Codename: Sailor V, Vol. 1, by Naoko Takeuchi – 276 pages

It’s Not Summer Without You, by Jenny Han – 288 pages

Commentary:

Day 4: Completed Ruin & Rising! I am so so sad this series is over. It was one that took a bit to grow on me and once it sunk its teeth into me, I was hooked and in love. It’s also weird because I went from hating Alina and loving Mal, to by the end of the series appreciating Alina a bit more and finding Mal stale and unappealing. Genya was still my favourite character even by the end of the series, and this book continued to show what a great support character she was. Also Darkling. Yay Darkling (shhhh, River!)

Other than that, I played lots of Always Sometimes Monsters… which is an intriguing little game that if you own Steam, it’s worth checking out just for the moral debates it provides. Finished it too!

Day 5: CODE NAME SAILOR V! I got this as a gift at my library shower (along with book 2) and I loved it! I was so nostalgic reading it, and Minako isn’t even my favourite (Makoto is!) but still, such a fun and crazy romp. I forgot how lazy Minako is (no wonder why she’s Usagi’s twin in a lot of ways). Can’t wait to dive into volume 2!

I also finally watched American Psycho to complete the book to movie adaptation, and I think for me, the movie was better than the book. The ultra-violence in the film was stylized but not excessive (if that makes sense). Christian Bale really sold me on his performance though as Patrick Batman. So creepy! But overall, the movie removed a lot of what I disliked about the book and really just focused on Bateman’s growing insanity, which I appreciated (although the dog murder made me UNHAPPY).

And finally… I finished It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han and it was… lackluster. This particular instalment was a lot of moping about Conrad and not having the summer house and it went on for two hundred pages. Normally I’d be fine with this but these were the only focuses in this book and Belly just didn’t really develop much, and I am not a fan of Conrad or Mr. Fisher. Jeremiah is still cool though. He sings Brittany Spears.

Hopefully Day six is as productive!

Book-tube-a-Thon Day #3 Update

Number of books completed: 5

Number of pages read: 1225

Currently Reading: Codename: Sailor V, Vol. 1, by Naoko Takeuchi & Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Cups of Tea Had: 2

Reading Challenges Completed: 3/7

A book with pictures.
Start and finish a series.
A book with red on the cover.
A book someone else picks out for you. (Selected by my co-blogger, River!)
A book from the genre you’ve read the least this year.
A book to movie adaptation (Read the book, now to grab the movie from the library!)
Read seven books.

Completed Books:

Golden by Jessi Kirby (Challenge Completed: A book someone else picks out for you.) – 277 pages.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Challenge Completed: A book with pictures) – 233 pages.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (Challenge Completed… Sorta: A book to movie adaptation) – 399 pages

Sleepless Knight by James Sturm – 40 pages

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (Challenge Started: 1 out of 3 books completed for this series) – 276 pages.

Commentary:

I am exhausted from doing adult things today, so this will be a quick update. I finished The Summer I Turned Pretty and overall I liked it, but I have some mixed feelings about it. Haven’t been able to quite put it into words yet, I asked Twitter to pick my next read: Ruin and Rising won by a landslide, which means Tokyo Vice will probably be read towards the end of the event (it’s for the challenge of a genre I’ve read the least of this year, I picked non-fiction). Hopefully I will have a much more cheery update tomorrow, but blarg, I am pooped!

Book-tube-a-Thon Day #2 Update

Number of books completed: 4

Number of pages read: 949

Currently Reading: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Cups of Tea Had: 2

Reading Challenges Completed: 3/7

A book with pictures.
Start and finish a series.
A book with red on the cover.
A book someone else picks out for you. (Selected by my co-blogger, River!)
A book from the genre you’ve read the least this year.
A book to movie adaptation (Read the book, now to grab the movie from the library!)
Read seven books.

Completed Books:

Golden by Jessi Kirby (Challenge Completed: A book someone else picks out for you.) – 277 pages.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Challenge Completed: A book with pictures) – 233 pages.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (Challenge Completed… Sorta: A book to movie adaptation) – 399 pages

Sleepless Knight by James Sturm – 40 pages

Commentary:

Great day of reading. I was only about 100 pages into American Psycho yesterday, so it was great to finish it off (even though I absolutely hated it, though admittedly I can totally see why others would enjoy it). I also finished a graphic novel ARC I had on my iPad, Sleepless Knight, which doesn’t come out until 2015, but it is SO CUTE. I will definitely have a review of it soon! After that I started The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, the first of the Summer trilogy, and I’m liking it a lot. It’s an easy read to get sucked into, though I’m not sure how I feel about a lot of the characters yet. Hopefully, I have great progress tomorrow (though I have an insanely busy day in store!). What’s your #booktubeathon progress? Let me know in the comments!