30

Anticipated Spring Releases 2017

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With spring comes a lot of new releases that make me super excited! I thought it’d be nice to introduce a new feature (because I do this about once a month on my blog at this point) in which I talk about my most anticipated releases for the season!

I actually made a large two-part post for all the 2017 releases, but I ended up deleting both of those posts because I deleted the photos in my gallery, and apparently when you do that, it deletes all the photos on said posts (why did no one tell me this). I was too lazy to redo the entire thing again, so I thought I’d just copy the information, delete both the posts, and recycle them for a much shorter, more organized post. And here it is!

If you want to learn more about the book, just click the title, and it’ll lead you to the Goodreads page! I have a mix of YA and Adult, and I’m pretty sure I have a book for every genre, so, that’s awesome!

(Now I’ll shut up and start talking about the books.)

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MARCH

The Bone Witch

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(Mar 7)

I haven’t read Chupeco’s other novels, but this one sounds really good. I haven’t read much fantasy in a VERY long time, so I really need to hop back on board. And, again, cover love!

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The Roanoke Girls

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(Mar 7)

This book wasn’t even on my radar until I joined Netgalley and read the description and was immediately lured in. This author actually wrote YA dystopian books (which, obviously, are sitting unread on my TBR), so it’ll be interesting to see her tackle a totally new genre. Also, I’ve heard this is dark, and it’s about a twisted family, and that makes me so excited.

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Bleed Through

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(Mar 14)

So, this guy has schizophrenia, and his meds give him the magical ability to see murders that happened in the past. I’m so excited for this, especially since I’m getting used to thrillers with a little PNR twist.

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Hunted

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(Mar 14)

I read her co-written book These Broken Stars (and Amie Kaufman, Queen of Sci-fi, was said co-writer) and loved it, so this should be 100% marvelous. Also, I see that it has fantastic reviews on Goodreads from people I trusted, so, I WANT IT!

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Nemesis

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(Mar 21)

More weird sci-fi books, please.

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Hellworld

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(Mar 21)

I’ve become a huge fan of YA horror ever since my spooky reads of October, so I’m ready to devour some more!

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Goodbye Paradise

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(Mar 21)

This is a M/M novel dealing with cults written by Sarina Bowen. NOTHING CAN GO WRONG AND I NEED IT NOW.

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The Cutaway

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(Mar 21)

First off, WHY ARE THERE 3480280 BOOKS RELEASING ON THE SAME DAYS? Second, this puts politics and psychological thrillers together. UM, THOSE ARE MY TWO FAVORITE THINGS??? (Let’s ignore the fact that they called it a perfect mash-up of Gone Girl, Luckiest Girl Alive, and Big Little Lies – we all know it’s going to be like none of those books).

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Vigilante

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(Mar 28)

How could I have read this summary and not immediately added it to my wishlist? I haven’t read McGinnis’ The Female of the Species, but I’ve heard fantastic things about it, and this one sounds similar, so excitement!

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Strange the Dreamer

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(Mar 28)

I’ve been wanting this one since last year, when it was originally supposed to release, and I just want it right now! It sounds so brilliant, and I loved the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, so I’m guessing I’ll love this one as well!

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APRIL

Ragdoll

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(Apr 4)

I heard this was a super dark thriller, and I absolutely love dark thrillers, and this one sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to get this one in my hands!

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Given to the Sea

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(Apr 11)

I read the description and I barely understand it, but it sounds interesting? Does that even make sense?

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The Upside of Unrequited

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(Apr 11)

It’s Becky Albertalli. That’s literally all I need to know.

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The Girl From Yesterday

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(Apr 17)

This just sounds like an awesome thriller; please give it to me now. Also, this was again compared to Liane Moriarty, Gillian Flynn, and Jessica Knoll. I see what you’re doing, publishers.

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Meg and Linus

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(Apr 18)

Cute, gay contemporary is my weakness!

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MAY

ACOWAR

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(May 2)

Well, duh.

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Dreamfall

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(May 2)

It’s a sci-fi horror that sounds like Inception. I will sell my soul for this book.

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The Scattering

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(May 2)

This is actually a sequel to The Outliers! I haven’t yet read that book, but I’m a huge fan of Reconstructing Amelia, so it’ll be interesting reading her YA thrillers.

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Into the Water

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(May 2)

OMG A NEW PAULA HAWKINS! I read The Girl on the Train earlier this year, and though I thought it was just okay (I gave it three stars, I think), I’m really excited to see if this one will live up to the hype of her first novel! The cover is gorgeous, and this one sounds so different from her previous novel, so I’m excited to get it.

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The One Memory of Flora Banks

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(May 2)

I’ve been pining for this since I heard about it and thought it had come out way back in January (apparently, that was the U.K. release date ugh) and I read a sample in Buzz Books, and just gimme it noooow.

(Also, May 2 is now declared to be “We Are Trying to Make Mikaela Broke” Day).

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What Alice Knew

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(May 4)

Missing husbands and suspicious phone calls; what not to love? Also, more jealousy at the UK for already having this!

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The Lines We Cross

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(May 9)

This is another book that I’m pretty sure is already out in other countries under the name Where Michael Met Mina, and it’s finally coming to the US! At a time where immigration is such a hot-button topic, this sounds like such a good read, especially since we get to see two sides!

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The Love Interest

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(May 16)

Yes, this is a book about making fun of YA tropes. Yes, the two guys pining for the girl in the love triangle are going to fall in love. Yes, I want this right now.

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Lord of Shadows

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(May 23)

Obvious excitement is obvious. I mean, the cover is ugly, but I really want to know how this strange love shape is going to turn out? Also, this is 704 pages. WHY?

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One of Us Is Lying

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(May 30)

No mistaking, this is definitely a thriller twist on The Breakfast Club. It sounds amazing, and I want it, of course. Give me all the 2017 YA thriller/mystery/horror! Also, I’ve never watched The Breakfast Club (#shame).

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House of Furies

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(May 30)

I own Roux’s Asylum trilogy, but haven’t yet read it, but, again, YA horror. Hopefully, I’ll read it before this releases!

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And those are my most anticipated releases for the spring! Can I have them all? Can they come just a little bit earlier? Can authors just send free books to me?

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Have I listed any of your most anticipated releases? Have I missed any on your list? Have I added more to your list (if so, I apologize for making you broke)?

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16

[MONTHLY WRAP-UP] February Wrap-Up

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And the second month of 2017 has passed! I can’t believe all that’s happened this month; I’m so excited for what the next month is going to bring in!

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I ended up reading 10 books, and having 1 DNF this month! It was pretty meh regarding reading, but I’ll pick it up next month, hopefully!

(1) City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson (3/5) An okay murder mystery thriller with pacing all over the place. You can read more of my thoughts over here.

(2) Ubo by Steve Rasnic Tem (3/5) I got the chance to read an ARC of this weird sci-fi/horror mix. Read my full review over here!

(3) The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (DNF) I was initially super excited for this book because it sounded weird and awesome, but I read the first couple of chapters and instantly knew I wasn’t going to like it. Also, I heard there was insta-love all over the place, so I don’t feel bad for passing. 

(4) Caraval by Stephanie Garber (4/5) I pre-ordered this book because of all the hype, and, fortunately, it lived up to it! Here’s my full review right here!

(5) Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (5/5) Again, we have another hyped book, and, again, I fell in love with it and its unlikable characters! For more of my spoiler-y thoughts, click here!

 (6) At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson (5/5) I finally read my first Shaun David Hutchinson book, and now I need to read, like, all of his books. My gushing review can be found here!

(7) Allegedly Tiffany D. Jackson (3/5) This was a pretty nice contemporary/thriller novel, but I was really disappointed with the ending since I’ve seen it already before. My review should be coming up sometime in March (I originally posted it this month, but it didn’t get too much traction, so I’ll just re-post it. Am I shallow? Yes.)!

(8) My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry (4/5) Yet another thriller with unlikable characters that I really enjoyed! Check out my rant-y review here!

(9) The River at Night by Ericka  (3/5) A survival thriller that I thought was pretty much okay, but definitely kept my interest! I literally just posted my review this past Wednesday, so if you missed it, (here it is)!

(10) Les Mis by Victor Hugo (1/5) I had to read this for school, and, not surprising to anyone, I hated it. No review is coming because I don’t really review school books, but please pray for me on this upcoming open-book test. #RIPMikaela

(11) This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (4/5) I read this for my Bookmark book (basically, my class had to read and annotate a book, then write an in-class essay about it), and I literally binged this in a couple of days because I’m a huge procrastinator. BUT IT WAS SO AMAZING. GIVE ME OUR DARK DUETS RIGHT NOW, DAMN IT.

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So, lots of stuff happened this month. I still don’t know what in the world exactly happened this month or how I deserved it, but it happened, and I’m so thankful. First off, I received 100 followers this month, and a week before I reached two months! At the moment, I have 120+ followers, AND WHY ARE YOU HERE WHERE DID YOU COME FROM WHAT! Also, my stats rocketed. Like, holy crap; I never thought I’d get to over 1,100+ views in a month, but I did? Thank you?? I also received two author requests this month (one I accepted and one I turned down), and a review for the one I accepted is coming out this month, so that was cool! And my social media also did pretty well! My Bloglovin’ is actually being used/followed, and my Instagram is doing well also, so, this month was actually pretty good in terms of blogging, and I can’t wait for the next few months.

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Also, I’ve decided to change my schedule! My schedule is changing from Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday to Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I’ll be posting two mandatory reviews a week (Monday and Wednesday) and something else bookish-related on Fridays and Sundays! Hopefully, this works out! Track has started again (someone please kill me), and it runs into my posting schedule during the week, so if I post at odd times or a little late, you’ll know why! I think I’m going to stay with the time I’m posting, but who knows, I might change it! 

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So, since this was a month that I felt I finally had consistent visitors/followers, I thought it’d be interesting to talk about posts that did and didn’t do well, and some new upcoming features! Interestingly enough, my favorites list regarding books worked out well, but my bookstagram and book boyfriend lists didn’t do as well. My “25 Facts About Me” post is currently my top post in terms of views and likes, which is still nuts to me, so apparently you guys really like learning about me. Also, my discussion post also did really well! My discussion post last month was my highest viewed post as well, so I’m glad to see that you guys like reading them, because I love writing them! Also, awards seem to do well, and wow, I still have two more to go, I think, and I have no idea when I’ll post them.

Also, regarding reviews, it’s so weird. Some reviews do really well, and some do meh. I’d like to think they’re all pretty successful in terms of where they are since I know reviews are the lowest in drawing in stats. I also can never predict what does well. Some reviews of books I think won’t do well because they’re not that popular, but they still do well anyway? Reviews are weird.

Also, I’m introducing three new features in the next few months! I’ll be doing a Monthly Recommendations post, which is pretty self-explanatory and I’m so excited to post because I’ve literally worked hours on these posts. I’m also introducing Let’s Chat, which is basically going to be my Discussion posts except shorter and dealing with topics that pretty much everyone has already talked about, and since you guys seem to love my discussions, I’m super excited to bring this feature in! And I’m also introducing Book Playlists, which, again, self-explanatory! I have no idea if it’s going to do well, but my first one will be coming out later this month, and it’ll be about my favorite series, the Unwind dystology, so I hope you’ll enjoy that! Some other things that I’m adding are seasonal 2017 releases and more unpopular opinions, because why not? Basically, I’m really excited for all these new features, and I hope you love them as well! 

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Also, I’m finally going to be adding these little social media banners at the bottom of my blog posts now! I think it’s cool to see it on other people’s blogs, and it feels like the most effective way to promote my social media! I’m usually just going to link to my Bloglovin’, Twitter, and Instagram, since I’m not using Goodreads or Twitter, and my Books Amino is already popular enough, and I don’t think too many of you guys are on it for people to care, so there’s that!

Which brings me to the fact that I have Twitter! I know I said I’d never do it, but I’ve totally caved. It’ll be linked at the bottom of this post, but feel free to leave your usernames/links to your own Twitter accounts in the comments section to make it easier to find and follow you guys!

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And that’s it for this amazing month! How was your month? What was your favorite read of February? Any accomplishments?

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6

[REVIEW] History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ+

Series: None

Rating: 5 STARS

Description:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

My Thoughts: 

“You’re still still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world, where this morning you’re having an open-casket funeral.”

HAHAHAHAHAHA I’M FINE. Okay, I’m totally not fine. I’m not okay. I went into this knowing this would be incredibly depressing, because have you read More Happy Than Not? But, boy, this book was painful. And also happy, in a way. It’s really unfair to read about Griffin and Theo’s adorable relationship, and then be reminded a couple pages later that he’s dead, and Griffin is suffering. Honestly, I’m pretty sure this review won’t do the book justice, but I’ll try my best. 

First off, I loved Griffin. I mean, it’s basically impossible to hate him, even when he makes extremely stupid decisions (and he does that a lot). He’s grieving and he’s angry and he just feels different because he has these OCD compulsions and he’s honest. All the ingredients for a great contemporary protagonist. I remember this moment early on, while he was reading his eulogy, that I almost cried because it was so heartfelt and it all felt so real. I have never experienced grief in my life. No one close to me that I’ve loved has ever died, but I have seen others who’ve suffered through it, especially my friends. But, by God, if that’s how I felt while reading about a fictional death, I don’t know how I’ll deal with a real one. The book really feels like it was written from the heart. 

We also have Wade, Theo and Griffin’s best friend that has his own problems (and ended up playing a larger part of the plot than I thought, but I’m keeping this spoiler-free), Theo, who we only get to know through flashbacks of the past and was such a genius sweetheart that I wanted to hug him and bring back to life just as much as Griffin did, and Jackson, Theo’s current boyfriend who was there when Theo died and is suffering as much as Griffin was. The relationships that Griffin had with all three of these people were so great. It was so beautiful to see the blossoming first love between Theo and Griffin; I’m a sucker for friendship-to-lover relationships, and there’s was just SO DAMN CUTE, even if it was a little sad. Jackson and Griffin also have a slowly-developing relationship, where it feels as if it’s them against the world since they’re the only two people who felt as if they knew Theo like they did. Yeah, it’s a bit awkward at first, and realistically so, because how are you supposed to talk to the current boyfriend of your dead ex that you’re still deeply in love with, but I like how they soon learned to lean on each other and how Jackson respected Griffin’s compulsions even if he felt awkward talking about them.

I’m not a huge contemporary reader myself unless it’s LGBTQ+, so this is probably the first one I’ve read in months, and I binge-read it in a day. I pre-ordered this for Christmas, and I was so excited that I just read through it all. It was that good. I wouldn’t describe the book as fast-paced, probably because I read too many thrillers, but I found the book so engrossing that I could barely put it down, which is always a thumbs up for me when I’m not a huge contemporary reader.

Also, the question on your mind might be, “Is this even more depressing than More Happy Than Not? Is that even possible?” And I’d say a definitive yes to both questions. It doesn’t even matter that the death is fictional, and that none of the characters are real – it just feels so real. It’s a painful book to read, yes, but it’s just as important as Silvera’s first novel was. 

This book just made me all kinds of happy and sad and I’m a mess, and I love you Adam Silvera. I literally cannot wait for They Both Die at the End, if it’s actually coming out in September (please tell me it is).

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Have you read this book yet (please do)? How did you feel about it (please fangirl with me about it)?

6

Christmas Book Haul

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Okay, so Christmas was a couple weeks ago, and, really, I should’ve posted this earlier, but I already had pre-planned posts, and I didn’t want to move any of them because then it wouldn’t have worked, so here it is now! I received over $200 worth of gift cards and ended up buying eleven physical books, pre-ordering 10 December/January releases, and a planner (for all the blogging things). 

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Scythe

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I’m sure you know at this point that I’m one of Neal Shusterman’s biggest fans, and as soon as I heard the concept of this novel, I wanted it. I’ve already read it (because, clearly, I was excited for this one), and I gave it 3.5 stars since it was good, but I expected a bit more. I’ll be talking more about it in my Mini-Review Wrap-Up on the fifteenth!

The Diabolic

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First off, this one sounds super badass just from the synopsis alone, not to mention I’ve heard fantastic things about this one, and it’s a stand-alone, which is a bonus for “I can’t finish series for my life” me. I started it today, and so far, so good, even though I’m only four chapters in, and I hope it’s just as good at the end!

Heartless

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I’ve heard both good and bad things about this one, but I absolutely love Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, and I absolutely love the cover, I have to admit, so I’m really excited to see how I myself feel about this one!

Three Dark Crowns

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Again, I’ve heard both good and bad things about this one, mostly with the pacing and how some people are saying it’s boring, but I’m always one to try out books for myself no matter what others say, so I’m super pumped for this one! I have yet to read Kendare Blake’s other series, though I own the Anna Dressed in Blood duology, so this will be my first run with her!

The Female of the Species

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Originally, I wasn’t even interested in this one, but after seeing all the positive reviews for it and learning that it’s quite feminist and discusses rape culture and vengeance, I WANTED. I haven’t read a contemporary in a long while, but this seems to be a good mix with mystery/thriller as well, so hopefully, that’ll make it a bit more entertaining.

Gemina

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I read Illuminae early last year (probably just around this time, actually) and absolutely devoured it, so, of course, I bought the sequel! I can’t wait to dive back into this unique reading experience and wonderful universe!

Crooked Kingdom

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I don’t think I need to explain myself with this one! I was actually spoiled about a character death in this one (thanks Goodreads), which sucks, but I’ve heard pretty positive things about this finale, and I need me some Jesper and Wylan, so I can’t wait to finally read this one!

The Midnight Star

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I’ve pretty much loved every single book that Marie Lu has put out ever since Legend was first published, and I have zero doubts about how much I’ll love this. I heard the ending was depressing and soul-crushing, so, obviously, I’m in for some fun!

Replica

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Lauren Oliver’s books and I have a bit of an up and down history. I’ve only loved Before I Fall, her debut novel. Panic and Delirium were boring flops for me, and I’ve yet to read Vanishing Girls. Unfortunately, this joined the “boring flops” category, and I DNF’d it earlier today. I’ll also be talking about this more in my Mini Reviews post.

Frost

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This was described as Cinder meets The Walking Dead??? I’ve already finished it and my review can be found here!

Boy Robot

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Okay, so, I learned by accident that this just happened to have LGBTQ+ representation, which I always love to have in genres other than contemporary, and, apparently, I’m going with a theme of robots because so many books I hauled involve them. So, I’m really excited to read this!

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(I’ll be talking about the books in order of their appearance from left to right, so I’m not including pictures for each cover!)

The Twilight Wife

I’ve actually never read A.J. Banner’s books before, even though I own The Good Neighbor, and I’ve heard just okay things about this one, but I’m way too interested in this one that I just had to buy it!

The Marriage Lie

While writing this post (I’m actually writing this right now on December 28, FYI), I started reading this because I was bored, and I really enjoyed the 100 or so pages I read! Now it’s January 3, and I’ve completed it, and, unfortunately, I thought it was meh, and, again, more on that in Mini Review Wrap-Up!

My Husband’s Wife

I actually had zero interest reading this after checking out the blurb, but Goodreads reviews managed to make me a little bit interested in it, and I ended up caving.

Little Heaven

Nick Cutter wrote it. That’s all I needed to know.

Sister Sister

Okay, so Goodreads is lying about the release date – it says May 23, but the book is releasing January 6, for those who are curious – but I’m super excited about this one because creepy siblings! Again, I own Sue Fortin’s other thrillers and haven’t yet read them, but I’m really excited to read it!

Everything You Want Me to Be

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one, and I really enjoy contemporary/literary thrillers, and this one sounds absolutely fantastic! I’m hoping to get to read this one really soon!

Behind Her Eyes

I NEED TO KNOW THE ENDING! (#wtfthatending)

History Is All You Left Me

I absolutely love Adam Silvera and his debut novel More Happy Than Not, so I’m super excited for more depressing gay romance (?). I’m ready for all the feels and emotions.

Caraval

First off, the cover is absolutely stunning. Second, the premise sounds gloriously unique and wonderful. Third, literally every single review I’ve seen has said nothing but praises, so gimme! It sucks that I have to wait the whole month to actually get this book, but I just know it’ll be worth it.

The River at Night

This book sounds really interesting, especially with the survival story aspect, so I’m really excited to see where this goes! Abby over at Crime By the Book gave this a positive review, and I trust her taste in thrillers, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to love this one.

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And that’s it for this post about my Christmas Book Haul! I’m pretty much satisfied about all the things I bought, and I can’t wait to read them all. Also, I’m extremely shallow and vain, and my hardcovers are perfect photography material, so there’s that.

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What are some books you purchased for Christmas?

5

[REVIEW] Frost by M.P. Kozlowsky

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Genre: Sci-fi, Dystopian, YA

Series: None

Rating: 4 STARS

Description: 

Sixteen-year-old Frost understands why she’s spent her entire life in an abandoned apartment building. The ruined streets below are hunting grounds for rogue robots and Eaters.

She understands why she’s never met a human besides her father. She even understands why he forbids her to look for medicine for her dying pet. But the thing is, it’s not her real father giving the orders…

It’s his memories.

Before he died, Frost’s father uploaded his consciousness into their robot servant. But the technology malfunctioned, and now her father fades in and out. So when Frost learns that there might be medicine on the other side of the ravaged city, she embarks on a dangerous journey to save the one living creature she loves.

With only a robot as a companion, Frost must face terrors of all sorts, from outrunning the vicious Eaters…to talking to the first boy she’s ever set eyes on. But can a girl who’s only seen the world through books and dusty windows survive on her own? Or will her first journey from home be her last?

My Thoughts:

“In the middle of the bombed-out room flickered a small fire, and near it sat Frost.”

I wasn’t expecting to like this book so much. I said before in my WWW Wednesday post this past week that I’m not the biggest fan of journey-type plots, and, so far, all books with that type of formula have seemed to become my least favorite books. But, for some reason, this one impressed me. I actually found myself liking it, and this one was a stand-alone, which meant that it had a much shorter opportunity to make an impression on me, unlike series that, on average, have three.

We have Frost, our main character who has always wanted to see the world, and her robot servant, Bunt (who also carries the memory and personality of her father, Alex). I loved Frost. She’s this sweet, slightly naive girl who has a heart of gold, and it’s a sort of breath of fresh air from the classic “badass heroine” that most books these days are adopting. Frost isn’t a huge fighter and she’s not super smart (but she’s not dumb either), but she could easily be any one of us, and I think that’s what makes her so relatable. It makes me definitely understand why this book was compared to Cinder (despite the robot comparisons) – Meyer’s books also have great heroines that don’t do super special things, but are still special to us as readers. And don’t even talk to me about Bunt. He was a robot, but he had ~feelings~ and he cared so much about the well-being of Frost, and that’s what made him such a great side-kick.

We also have Flynn and Barrow, who are side characters who assist on the journey to help Frost to the Battery to help Romes, her adorable broot. Of course, Flynn was the love interest – we can’t have a YA book without one! – but I actually enjoyed his character! I wouldn’t go and put him on my list of Book Boyfriends or anything, but it was nice to see a character who was broody and had a dark past not be this suave bad boy, but someone who appreciates a girl who has hope. He has real feelings and thoughts and he acts like a real boy, if that makes any sense whatsoever, in a YA world where the love interests seem to be limited to their archetypes. And Barrow, his father, who reminded me of a combination between Rick and Glenn, both characters on The Walking Dead. So, of course, I loved him.

For those who really hate romance involved in genres that aren’t contemporary, I highly suggest this for you. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves, and I didn’t really mind the romance between Frost and Flynn. Did I think it was necessary? Definitely not. But was it sort of cute and nice to watch unfold? Sure. It wasn’t really developed that much because of some ~events~ I refuse to spoil about, but it wasn’t annoying in my eyes, so it gets a thumbs up from me!

I loved the setting of this dystopian world. It’s basically a wasteland where Eaters (who are more cannibals than zombies, since they’re not dead) and robots roam, where the Good John Lord (who reminded me of the Governor from TWD) rules a creepy cult, where people cruelly torture those who they kidnap, making them kill broots and suffer under the pain of being whipped and hit. This was such a surprisingly dark read, especially since the cover is so beautiful and the book premise seemed so light, which was quite apparent from the first few pages.

I had some problems with the pacing, though. As I’ve said multiple times, I don’t really like journey stories, and for the first 100 or so pages, I really wasn’t into this one at all. I will say, it did take a while to get back into the groove of things – I’ve been reading a lot of mysteries and thrillers lately, and I rate those more objectively than I do with YA novels, which I usually rate not only objectively, but based on my feels – and once it got to Part 3, I was really excited to see where things went and enjoyed the darker turn the story took. The plot doesn’t really have many curveballs thrown in it – it’s basically what you would expect as soon as you’ve read it – but it’s still entertaining enough.

I also really enjoyed the ending of this one. It was so heartfelt and sweet and made me smile a little. I will warn you, it is open-ended, which I know is a deal-breaker for some people, but some of my favorite stand-alones, such as Eleanor and Park and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock held the same fate, but I loved those as well. I guess it all depends on personal opinion.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one, and I recommend to those who love sci-fi and dystopian with a bit of darkness and heart.

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Have you read this book? Any thoughts about it?

9

Bookish Goals for 2017

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Happy New Year’s Day! I thought it’d be fitting to post my 2017 Bookish Goals today since most of us are caught up in our New Year’s Resolutions and praying that we’ll actually maybe keep them this year (even though we know we’ll probably break them a little).

Also, yes, I am coming at you guys with a new time! School is starting again tomorrow (boo!), so I won’t be able to post early in the morning. I’m trying to find a new time, and I thought 4 in the afternoon would be good (at least, that’s what time it is in my timezone), so here it is!

Onto my (ambitious) 2017 goals!

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I. Read 200 Books

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So, as you guys know, I ended up reading a whopping total of 163 books this year (this is excluding comics – which I read a lot of, but don’t count personally because they’re pretty short – and DNFs – since I didn’t actually read them)! My goal was 75, and I actually ended up reaching it in June or early July. And since I’m so close to 200, I thought, “Why not? I’m crazy enough!” So I’m hoping to make it to 200 next year! Wish me luck!

Also, I’ve seen a lot of people say that they hate the Goodreads challenge because it pressures them too much and they feel like they’re not reading big books, etc., but keeping tracks of books is hard. I felt that struggle, and I decided to look into apps for that, and lo and behold, I found this great one called BookBuddy!

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Basically, it’s almost like Goodreads without reviews and the pressure of having to read. You can create your own categories, as seen in a screenshot of my own personal profile:

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Basically, all you have to do is click to the category that you want to add a book to. Press the “+” at the top right of the screen, search your book (I actually tested this out by searching for a book that had come out just a couple of days ago, so this is legit), add it, and that’s it! The category will keep the number of books you’ve read and placed in said category as seen here:

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If you want to save a book to multiple categories and/or include re-reads and have them count, all you have to do is repeat the above steps for a different category, and there your book will show up! You can also give the book a star rating if you want to keep track of that as well!

And that’s pretty much it! Just wanted to include a pretty neat app for those who hate the Goodreads Challenge but have trouble keeping track of their books themselves!

II. Catch Up on 2016 + 2015 YA Releases

 

I totally failed to read 2016 releases this year, especially the ones on my most anticipated list! I was originally going to just set aside a month to catch up, but then I compiled all of them together, and I have SO MANY, that I decided I’m just going to be doing this for the entire year. For every thriller/crime/mystery I read, I’m going to read a YA 2016 release of any genre of my choosing. Hopefully, that’ll get me back on track.

III. Finish Those Damn Series

 

If you know me, you know that I suck at completing series. I left a lot of series unfinished this year, whether I read the first two and have been putting off the finale, or I’ve only read the first of six books. I’m hoping to finally complete some of these series – at least 20 – of the ones I started in 2016. Hopefully, I’ll enter 2018 less stressed out!

IV. Keep Up with Blogging and Bookstagram

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I’ve said this several times, but I’m usually one to get into things, lose motivation, and then quit on them, and I really don’t want to do that with either of these things. So far, blogging has proven to be fun, and I’m hoping to work a bit more on taking pictures and getting props and setting things up before really starting my bookstagram (I probably won’t officially start it until the summer, when I have more free time). Hopefully, this won’t be something I get bored of by my first blogiversary, but I’m planning to go on a hiatus if I ever get blogger burnout.

V. Write Better Reviews

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I used to write tons of reviews on my old Goodreads, but, sometimes, I found them to be of “meh” quality at times. When I hate a book, I do find it much easier to review it than when I love a book, mainly because there’s only so many positive reviews you can write before they sort of start to sound the same. So, I’m going to try to work at sounding less vague in my reviews and explaining myself much better.

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And those are my 2017 Bookish Goals! I’m hoping that I’ll look back on December 31 and be proud of myself because I achieved all the things (and then some)!

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What are some of your 2017 Bookish Goals? Do you share any of the same ones as mine?