Sunday, December 10, 2017

ARC Review: Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

Top Ten by Katie Cotugno
Published: October 3, 2017
Balzer + Bray
320 (Paperback ARC) 
My Rating: 
of 5 stars

Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship: 

10. Where to begin? Maybe the night we met.
9. Then there was our awkward phase.
8. When you were in love with me but never told me…
7. Those five months we stopped talking were the hardest of my life.
6. Through terrible fights…
5. And emotional makeups.
4. You were there for me when I got my heart broken.
3. …but at times, you were also the one breaking it.
2. Above all, you helped me make sense of the world.
1. Now, as we head off to college—how am I possibly going to live without you?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Cringe Worthy YA Tropes

Thoughts for Thursday is a discussion post mainly about book related things. It isn't every week, but we try to do it as often as possible.

If you've read any YA book, you've probably come across some tropes. I feel like it's unavoidable, but some of them are so overused and quite frankly a pet peeve of mine. It's pretty safe to say that if a book has some of these tropes that make me cringe, it's not going to be a favorite. It's not always going to automatically make me dislike the book though, because there might be some saving grace to the story or character that makes me still really enjoy it.

"I'm not like other girls"

This one has to be one of my least favorite tropes and for some reason it's one that I run into way too often. Personally, I don't think authors should be sending the message that the only way a girl can be powerful, is if they hate on other girls and "girly" things like dresses and makeup. I can't count the number of times that a female main character that's portrayed as badass has looked down on another female character for wearing feminine clothes and makeup. You do not have to be more masculine to be badass! As a kid, because the books I read had characters that thought that, I refused to wear dresses and thought that girls who wear makeup are too girly because the characters I idolized were super ~special~ and not like other girls. Thank god I realized how wrong I was, but it just kind of cements the fact for me that this should never be a popular trope.

Image result for i'm not like other girls ya books meme
Couldn't find original source

The evil popular girl that's out to steal the main character's love interest and ruin her life

This is so popular in YA books and I just don't get it. Why does the popular girl have to be evil? Why does it have to be girls against girls? Why can't girls be friends in YA books? I just have so many questions about this. It's just such a stereotype that the popular girl is a stuck up bitch that's going to steal away a guy. I have never felt that this was a good plot because I don't really get how you can steal a person away like that if the person is actually into you. Maybe it's because I don't have experience with that happening, but like I don't get it.

Love triangles - a.k.a "I can't decide which guy is hotter, but will ultimately go for the guy that is dark and mysterious"

Awhile back I did a whole discussion on love triangles. Sometimes I don't mind them, but most of the time they're just frustrating and completely unnecessary. A lot of the time they're thrown in to add some drama to the relationship and make it seem like the main character doesn't know what he or she wants. It's so over done and not done well enough for me to actually like it most of the time, so this is definitely going to be something that makes me cringe.

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Trying to be "hip" with stuff like: lol teens rlly txt like this

I don't see this very often (thank god), but when I do it just confuses me so much, especially when I was a teenager. I never texted like this, my friends never texted like this, maybe like one person, but none of us liked it. Sure there's certain things I'll abbreviate like omg or lol, but that's pretty much it. I don't get why authors think teens text like they don't know how to write. It's just kind of annoying.

"I just met you and I'm in love"

I honestly find insta love way more annoying than love triangles. I can't get invested in a couple if there isn't a build up the relationship. Why would I want to root for a couple that doesn't have a believable romance? It just feels like they're in lust or something, but love always gets thrown around when it should really just be like a crush or they're in like (is that a thing?). I don't know about you, but if I'm dating someone I'm not in love with them before I start dating them, I just really like them.

Image result for ya novel memes

No female friends a.k.a "I'm so much better than other girls part 2"

This goes along with the "I'm not like other girls" and also with some of the stuff I was saying for the evil popular girl trope. I find it incredibly weird that most books don't have any female friendships. The female main character almost always has male friends, but no close female friendships and they're usually not very kind to other girls. Why? What is the reasoning for this? I DON'T GET IT! I feel like it's really important to show close female friendships because girls should be supporting girls, not tearing them down.

What are some tropes in YA that you hate?

This is definitely not all the cringe worthy tropes I can think of, so there might be a part 2 coming soon!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Erika's Month in Review: August 2017

In case you missed it, the past month is recapped, along with book hauls, and life happenings.

Life Happenings

 This week is my first week of classes and the past few weeks have been so busy that I haven't much time to read. I have a feeling that with school work coming up, most of my reading is going to be textbooks, not books. I am pretty excited for my criminology class this semester, so hopefully that textbook won't be too boring.

I was spending a lot of time with my boyfriend this August before he goes back to school in China. I never thought I'd be the kind of person to want all the mushy romance stuff (I avoid romance books almost always and I've never been a huge fan of chick flicks), but honestly it's so nice with the right person. It's definitely pretty rough at least for the first few weeks, especially before we work out times we're both awake and around.

Currently Reading

I haven't had a whole lot of time to read this, but I'm hoping I'll get to it this weekend. So far it's interesting, but I honestly haven't read that much of it yet.

My Posts This Month

Coming Soon

  • ARC Review: Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
  • Thoughts for Thursday: Cringe Worthy YA Tropes

Book Haul

I'm pretty sure I didn't get any new books this month, except for textbooks and GRE practice books, but those are pretty boring so I'm not gonna list them. 

How was your month?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Book Blitz: Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

I am so excited that ZERO REPEAT FOREVER by Gabrielle Prendergast is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Gabrielle Prendergast, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed hardcover of the book courtesy of Gabrielle and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast
Published: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 496
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: AmazonB&NAudibleiBooksTBDGoodreads

He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her…

Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.

Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other… 

Book Trailer:

About Gabrielle: 
Gabrielle is a writer, teacher and designer living in Vancouver, Canada.  You can read about her books here. She is represented by Barbara Poelle at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
In 2014 she was the Writer in Residence at Vancouver Public Library. In 2015 she was nominated for the BC Book Prizes and chosen to tour the province to promote BC Books. In 2017 Gabrielle took part in the TD Canada Children’s Book Week Tour. She has also been nominated for the White Pine Awardand the CLA Award.
Gabrielle won the Westchester Award for Audacious. Audacious was included in CBC’s list of 100 YA Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian. A poem from Capricious was chosen for the 2014 Poetry in Transit Program. Pandas on the East Side was chosen as an Ontario Library Association Best Bet for Junior Fiction in 2016. It was also nominated/shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award, The Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow Award and the Myrca Award.

Giveaway Details:

(1) winner will receive a signed finished copy of ZERO REPEAT FOREVER, US Only & Canada.

(3) winners will receive signed postcards and bookmarks ZERO REPEAT FOREVER, US Only & Canada.

Ends on September 19th at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 27, 2017

New Releases: August 27-September 2

Keeping you up to date on the latest releases, so you never miss when your most anticipated book comes out.

Release of the Week

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Other Releases

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

ARC Review: Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast
Published: August 29, 2017
Simon Schuster
335 (earc)
The Nahx Invasions #1
My Rating:
4 of 5 stars

The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast in this fast-paced and heart-stopping novel about an invasion of murderous creatures and one girl fighting for her life at the end of the world.

He has no voice or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.
Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.
His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.
Until a human kills her…

Sixteen-year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her fellow campers can only stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless, but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New Releases: August 20-26

Keeping you up to date on the latest releases, so you never miss when your most anticipated book comes out.

Release of the Week

The Dire King (Jackaby #4) by William Ritter

The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times best-selling series the Chicago Tribune called “Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer” sends the eccentric detective and his indispensible assistant into the heart of a war between magical worlds.

The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.

The epic conclusion to the New York Times best-selling Jackaby series features sly humor and a quirky cast of unforgettable characters as they face off against their most dangerous, bone-chilling foe ever.

Other Releases

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Latest Addiction: Lipsticks

Latest Addiction is a feature on Living for the Books about addictions besides books. Addictions may include, but are not limited to TV shows, video games, music, and more.

Over the past year or so, I've become increasingly obsessed with lipsticks. I don't know what it is, but you're honestly just as likely to see me wearing lipstick as you are to see me without any. It's gotten to the point where if one of my friends wears lipstick they say they're being like me. It's not just nude lipsticks I like either. Give me all the bright, vampy, or out there colors, I'll wear them all. I am partial to pink lipsticks though (usually a deeper color not like Barbie pink).

Friday, August 18, 2017

ARC Review: Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi
Published: October 31, 2017
304 (ebook)
Source: Penguin First to Read
My Rating:
3 of 5 stars

In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt. 

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family. 

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life. 

A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ARC Review: When I Cast Your Shadow by Sarah Porter

When I Cast Your Shadow by Sarah Porter
Published: September 12, 2017
Tor Teen
384 (ebook)
My Rating:
1 of 5 stars

A teenage girl calls her beloved older brother back from the grave with disastrous consequences.

Dashiell Bohnacker was hell on his family while he was alive. But it's even worse now that he's dead....

After her troubled older brother, Dashiell, dies of an overdose, sixteen-year-old Ruby is overcome by grief and longing. What she doesn't know is that Dashiell's ghost is using her nightly dreams of him as a way to possess her body and to persuade her twin brother, Everett, to submit to possession as well.

Dashiell tells Everett that he's returned from the Land of the Dead to tie up loose ends, but he's actually on the run from forces crueler and more powerful than anything the Bohnacker twins have ever imagined...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

New Releases: August 13-19

Keeping you up to date on the latest releases, so you never miss when your most anticipated book comes out.

Release of the Week

Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn't want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee's summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.

Other Releases

Friday, August 11, 2017

Review: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Published: June 27, 2017
Katherine Tegen Books
513 (Hardcover)
Guide #1
My Rating:
5 of 5 stars

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

ARC Review: Body Parts by Jessica Kapp

Body Parts by Jessica Kapp
Published: August 15, 2017
Diversion Books
300 (ebook)
Source: Netgalley
My Rating:
2 of 5 stars

People would kill for her body.

Raised in an elite foster center off the California coast, sixteen-year-old Tabitha’s been sculpted into a world-class athlete. Her trainers have told her she’ll need to be in top physical condition to be matched with a loving family, even though personal health has taken a backseat outside the training facility. While Tabitha swims laps and shaves seconds off her mile time, hoping to find a permanent home, the rest of the community takes pills produced by pharmaceutical giant PharmPerfect to erase their wrinkles, grow hair, and develop superhuman strength.

When Tabitha’s finally paired, instead of being taken to meet her new parents, she wakes up immobile on a hospital bed. Moments before she’s sliced open, a group of renegade teenagers rescues her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement factory for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next in line to be harvested.

Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by moody and mysterious Gavin Stiles. As they race to infiltrate the hospital and uncover the rest of PharmPerfect’s secrets, though, Tabitha finds herself with more questions than answers. Will trusting the enigmatic group of rebels lead her back to the slaughterhouse?