Tag Archives: arc

River’s Quickie Reviews #6

22171558Title: Twisted Fate by Norah Olson (January 20th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books)

Synopsis: When Alyson meets Graham Copeland, the new boy next door, she instantly feels like he’s a kindred spirit—shy and awkward like her, someone who has trouble making friends. It’s impossible to resist having a crush on him.

As usual, her sister, Sydney, sees things differently. In Sydney’s mind, Graham’s odd personality and secretive past scream psychopath, not sweetheart. Her gut is telling her to stay away from him, and to protect a love-struck Alyson from her own naïveté. But despite her instincts, Sydney is surprised to realize that a part of her is drawn to Graham, too.

And the more Sydney gets to know him, the more she realizes just how right—and wrong—she is about everything.

River’s Review: Well I’m not sure what to think about this. I liked it and it kept me engaged, but there were WAYYYYYY too many POVs (like, some only happened once in the book) and the ending just made no sense. I started to sense the ‘twist’ coming, but there are a lot of places in the book where I was like ‘does this even work?’

Also, nothing like We Were Liars.

Overall this was a pretty fast read that kept me guessing, horrified me quite a bit, and then had a sloppy ending that made me drop it a star. There’s a lot of negative reviews about this, and while I can see their merits, I don’t think it was an awful book. I really did like it up until the very end. 3/5 Stars.


20527903Title: Suspicion  by Alexandra Monir (December 9th 2014 by Delacorte Press)

Synopsis: Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor. “There’s something hidden in the Maze.” Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family’s English country manor. Haunted by her parents’ deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin’s untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion’s aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself–and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

River’s Review: Well… this was boring. Or I was bored. I just couldn’t get into this book. It sounds gorgeous and it should be, but it’s super flat. Everyone is super stereotypical YA and Imogen is supposed to be this ‘teehee fish out of water look how cute it is she has NO CLUE about almost anything British despite spending half her childhood there and living in NYC’. I just don’t get how Imogen is so damn clueless about so many aspects of British culture. And whenever she makes some slip up it’s always like ‘aww, so cute, you silly American’.

I guess what I really didn’t like was the way things were set up. The first half of the book is the ‘before’ being a Duchess and then the second part is the ‘after’ becoming a Duchess part and the first half just didn’t really do much for me other than give us background and info. Which could have been done with like, a prologue or something so the majority of the story could have been focused on her actually being at Rockford and the paranormal stuff.

And good lord the paranormal stuff was boring. It wasn’t even in the book for most of it!

So I gave it a try but sadly just didn’t connect. 2/5 Stars.


 

Huge thank you to Netgalley, Edelweiss, Delacorte Press and Katherine Tegen Books for these ARCs!

Advertisements

River’s Reading Habits

I feel like I used to read A LOT more when I was in Japan. Now that I have some free time I’m reading about the same amount, but I think that my reading habits have changed a lot and this is leading to the feeling of ‘omggggggggggg I never get to read anymore!’

So I thought it would be fun to share my reading habits! in Japan I used to work 2pm-9:30pm. I had a 15 minute train ride, and a half hour wait FOR the train after work. So I used to read in the morning (usually from 8:30am – noon while doing housework and eating lunch) and then I’d read on the train, on my hour lunch break at work, and then while waiting for the train. I 100% read on my kindle on my commute and at work. At home I would sometimes read physical books, but it wasn’t very common since I didn’t have a lot with me (due to space and access to a bookstore with a decent English section). I also read a lot when I got home because my husband was either not home or busy doing stuff for work/ prepping for grad school. I also had zero friends during the last two years of Japan (where I lived, all of my friends were in Tokyo, which was two hours away from where were living).

NOW… I work from either 9-5 or 11-7. I don’t have time to read in the morning. I ride my bike to work so I don’t get to read during my commute. At work I have two 15 minutes breaks and a 30 minute lunch, which I do use to read, but it’s not like I can really get into anything. When I get home I cook dinner (husband and I used to eat separate due to our schedules), make our lunches for the next day, do the dishes (I feel like I do this 90% more than I did in Japan), take a shower and get ready for bed. This usually leaves me with 1-2 hours of reading time depending on if husband wants to hang out or play pool/ ping pong. He’s also home A LOT more which leads to us talking and generally hanging out more than we used to at home.  On weekends I’m usually at home but I have to do things like laundry and shopping (in Japan I would do that on my days off and spread it out over two days, now I do it all in one day), and husband and I try to get out and do stuff sometimes. I still have zero friends buuuuut I just moved here, so I’m giving myself a break.

So mainly my daily schedules and routines have changed A LOT which means that my old ‘reading time’ has shifted and become super broken up. The only time I can really get into a book and read for hours now is if husband is super into his work at night and stays up really late (I stay up with him) or on the weekend.

Also I’ve noticed HOW I read has changed a lot too. As I said, in Japan I read on my kindle almost exclusively. The only time I ever had physical books was when I either: won something and had my mom send it to me, made a trip to Tokyo and picked up a couple of things at Kinokuniya, or a friend sent me something. I LOVE my kindle and I’m pretty addicted to eARCs and kindle edeals, so there’s a lot of selection on my kindle. But now that I’m in the states, WORK AT A FREAKING BOOKSTORE (hellooooo discount!), and have space for books I’m reading A LOT more physical books.

Physical books:

photo 1I am giddy beyond belief that I can do this. I am not a book snob and I am not going to disown you for having an ereader. I’m not going to preach about the feel/smell/texture/whathaveyou merits about physical books. But I do love books, I love to collect my favorites, and it makes me so happy that I can basically get whatever I want now (and not break my wallet).

So far I’ve been reading physical books at home. I don’t really want to haul them around with me because I have limited space in my bag (which is a small backpack now because it’s too much hassle to deal with a purse in a bike basket). I usually rotate between reading a physical book and then something on my kindle.

Kindle
photo 2Oh my old keyboard kindle. You have served me well. I love this thing and will cry when it finally dies on me and I have to switch to a touch screen. I love the side buttons! I used to read both ARCS and finished books on here, but now I mainly read eARCs. I do have a pile of finished books that I got through amazon eDeals on here, so I really should work on those someday too… hahaha. I used to keep this in my purse, but there’s no good way to keep this in my current bag without putting the screen in danger, so I’ve stopped carrying it around with me. I tried to read it at work, but it was too much hassle to go down to my locker, get it out, take it to the break room, read, and then return it all in my 15 minute break. So I leave it at home and read on it when I’m not reading a physical copy.

iPhone
photo (2)This is the biggest change to the way I read. Yes, I read on my iPhone. I didn’t want to, but as I said, getting my kindle out at work was just too much trouble and wasted my break (and lead to no reading time) so I decided to start reading on this (I keep it with me while I’m working, so I don’t have to waste time going and getting it/ putting it away). I 99% read eARCs on this (and 1% novellas). I generally try to read short things on here because I hate how it feels like it takes me FOREVER to get through something. I also read on it in short doses, so it doesn’t bother my eyes too much. (It’s also nice to grab and read on for a bit when I’m laying in bed waiting for husband and don’t want to get up and get my kindle). I know a lot of people could never imagine reading on their phone (and I’ve had a few coworkers ask me about it) but for me I’d rather READ than anything, and using this allows me to do just that.

So what do you think? Are my reading habits super weird? Are yours similar? I’d love to hear how YOU read (and I hope that Sam will post her own reading habits on here soon!)

 

ARC Review – Wildlife by Fiona Wood

20380942Title:  Wildlife

Author: Fiona Wood

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: During a semester in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sib expects the tough outdoor education program and the horrors of dorm life, but friendship drama and an unexpected romance with popular Ben Capaldi? That will take some navigating.

New girl Lou has zero interest in fitting in, or joining in. Still reeling from a loss that occurred almost a year ago, she just wants to be left alone. But as she witnesses a betrayal unfolding around Sib and her best friend Holly, Lou can’t help but be drawn back into the land of the living.

Huge thank you to Poppy/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I adored Fiona Wood’s Six Impossible Things, but I think I may love Wildlife even more. Fiona Wood continues her trend of writing some beautifully flawed individuals and she does it with such an ample amount of humour, that is so easy to fall in love with her characters and stories.

First off, I want to quickly mention that this book references two of my favourite things: Daria and Melina Marchetta. Daria is one of my all time favourite television shows (seriously, I cn watch it over and over) and Melina Marchetta has written a good chunk of my favourite books, so kudos to Finoa Wood for her awesome references!

But seriously, I loved Sibylle and Lou. I loved Lou before, but I think having her attempt to come to terms with Fred’s death in this story may have made her my favourite of Wood’s characters. Lou is someone easy to sympathize with, yet she doesn’t want people’s pity or even acknowledgement, so when she is forced to share a house with five other girls, it’s no wonder she has no desire to connect with them — she’s so cut off from the rest of the world so it’s great to watch her grow through the story and take the small steps to come back to the real world, no matter how difficult it is. I’ve been in her shoes before, and let me tell you — Wood captures Lou’s mental state perfectly, and her journal entries really solidify who she thinks she is and who she might want to become.

Then there is Sibylle, who was adorkable and also really flawed. In her case, Sib has the problem that she’s not ready to let go of certain things — in particular her friendship with Holly, who is in fact, a crappy, malicious, manipulative individual. She’s so focused on trying to grow into her own skin and because she’s such a passive person, she allows Holly to control her in a lot of ways. It’s definitely not a healthy relationship, but I think many of us can relate to having a friend who we know is toxic and we need to find a way to remove ourselves from them, and Holly is a tough nut to get rid of! Sib is just wonderfully realistic and her emotions and breakdowns are something I think many of us out there have dealt with.

Even though I loved all the characters in this book (seriously, all of them, even that jerk, Ben), no one comes as close to being as horrific as Holly. Holly is such a memorable character because she’s an awful, crappy, evil person, and yet she too has flaws because she’s so oblivious to others and their feelings. She can be down right evil, but I can say. I’ve known people like her, and that’s why she worked as an antagonist for Sib and Lou in this story. She is someone you want to scream at and tell her to get over herself, but you recognize it’s easier said than done.

The prose in this book is always engaging, and I loved that this story was very sex positive. We need MORE of this in YA! I loved that Sib’s mom had a speech about sex, in particularly the ins and outs, the dos and don’ts, but most of all “sex is an important, but be safe about it.” Seriously, that bit was awesome! In fact, how sex as a topic is approached in this book is wonderful, and I loved it.

Seriously, this book is fantastic. It’s amazingly thoughtful and it breaths such wonderful characters who are unforgettable. I was so heartbroken when the story was finally over, because it meant I didn’t get to spend anymore time with Sib and Lou (and that Michael kid, he’s a cutie.)

Three – BEFORE & after

In case you missed what this feature is about… check out my post here: BEFORE & AFTER

So here’s my list of ARCs to read in May. I was able to read all but one ARC in April, so I’m pretty confident that I can kick this month’s butt. I’ve already knocked a few off the list, some that I was DYING for, so it was a little difficult to choose this months…

saywhatyouwillSay What You Will by Cammie McGovern is one that I’m DYING to read. I’ve been wanting to read this so bad since I got it and I’ve been good, making myself wait until May and now that I can read it I’m so excited! The reviews coming in are super positive, and this just sounds so sweet. I love misfit love stories, and I can’t wait to dive into this and have all the feels.

wickedgamesWicked Games by Sean Olin. I’m SCARED to read this one. It seems right up my alley, ugly-pretty-people doing awful, scandalous things. LOVE these kinds of stories. But the reviews aren’t so good and while I try not to put too much faith in a lot of the goodreads reviews, some of what I’ve read (very briefly) makes this sound like a train wreck. I do want to read it though, so I’ll give it a shot and let you guys know how it goes!

What are you dying to read this month? Anything you’re scared to read? Let me know in the comments! And check back at the end of the month to see how my predictions hold up!

Two – before & AFTER

In case you missed what this feature is about… check out my post here: BEFORE & AFTER

So how did the two that I chose hold up? You might be surprised (or not, if you already read my reviews).

endI LOVED IT SO MUCH!!! Five full stars. You can check out my review here, but basically it started off kinda weak and I was thinking about 3 stars but then it built up and exploded with AMAZINGNESS and Miles was great and I loved his and Juneau’s relationship and the banter between them and the writing was wonderful and THE ENDING OMG. So yes, I was so excited for this and thankfully my instincts were spot on! This was also one of my top-5-for-2014. You guys are going to want to read this one.

lilygravesSadly this one did not hold up. I was super scared to read it and while I may have loved Strohmeyer’s pervious books, this one didn’t hold a candle to ‘Smart Girls’. You can see my review here on goodreads (it will be up on the blog later) but man, I wanted so much more from this.

Have you read either of these? What did you think? Leave me your opinion in the comments!

 

Two – BEFORE & after

end
I am DYING to read this one! Why? I want to find out why WWIII was a lie, why Juneau and her people were led to believe such a lie and where they went and how she’s going to deal with going back to modern society and just WHY WHY WHY I have so many whys. I love things like this, where nothing is as it seems and there’s some crazy conspiracy. Also, I’ve never read anything by Amy Plum, so I’m excited to see what her writing is like. So yes, SO excited for this!

lilygraves
I am SCARED to read this one! Why? Because I love Strohmeyer’s other books, but they were all fluffy contemporary so I’m not sure how this darker mystery is going to work. I HAVE FAITH. But I am so scared of being disappointed by something that I really want to love.

What books are you most looking forward to this month? What books are you terrified to read because you’re afraid of disappointment? Let me know in the comments!

And check back at the end of the month to find out how these two fared!

One — Before & AFTER

In case you missed what this feature is about… check out my post here: BEFORE & AFTER

So how did the two that I chose hold up? You might be surprised (or not, if you already read my reviews).

18106481Remember how excited I was about this? Well check out my review here. Yes, only 2.5 stars. This was sadly not as gritty and sexy as I had hoped. It was incredibly underwhelming, Nearly was smart, but not as cunning as I had hoped, and the love story was just gag, gag, gag. I didn’t swoon at all. SO SAD. I really did want to love this. HEART CRUSHED.

takingHoly hell I LOVED this! You can read my review here if you want the long version. But short version: this surpassed my expectations. The romance worked for me, Kyra and the mystery surrounding her worked for me. The pacing, the writing, the craziness… it all just worked and I loved it all so much. SO happy I gave this book a try!