2015

[ARC Review] My Best Everything – Sarah Tomp

My Best Everything

Author: Sarah Tomp

Series: None

Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015

Publisher: Little Brown Books

Number of Pages: 400

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

You say it was all meant to be. You and me. The way we met. Our secrets in the woods. Even the way it all exploded. It was simply a matter of fate.

Maybe if you were here to tell me again, to explain it one more time, then maybe I wouldn’t feel so uncertain. But I’m going back to the beginning on my own. To see what happened and why.

Luisa “Lulu” Mendez has just finished her final year of high school in a small Virginia town, determined to move on and leave her job at the local junkyard behind. So when her father loses her college tuition money, Lulu needs a new ticket out.

Desperate for funds, she cooks up the (definitely illegal) plan to make and sell moonshine with her friends, Roni and Bucky. Quickly realizing they’re out of their depth, Lulu turns to Mason: a local boy who’s always seemed like a dead end. As Mason guides Lulu through the secret world of moonshine, it looks like her plan might actually work. But can she leave town before she loses everything – including her heart?

The summer walks the line between toxic and intoxicating. My Best Everything is Lulu’s letter to Mason – though is it an apology, a good-bye, or a love letter?

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[ARC Review] A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)

Author: V.E. Schwab

Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1

Publication Date: February 24th, 2015

Publisher: Tor Books

Number of Pages: 400

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, YA

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

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[ARC Review] One of the Guys – Lisa Aldin

One of the Guys

Author: Lisa Aldin

Series: None

Publication Date: February 10th, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Number of Pages: 320

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She’ll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she’s sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a lady while the guys move on without her.

Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.

But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends–the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she’s built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.

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Book Challenges of 2015

Again I come with these late new 2015 posts. But either way, it’s still not too late!

Last year, my new year resolution was to read more. I obviously accomplished that goal so this year I thought I’d participate in some reading challenges. Originally I was going to just focus on the Popsugar one that I learned about from Aubrey at Pointe Taken, but then I bought quite a few books from Half-Price Books. Along with my purchases was a calendar that had book recommendations by authors for each month.

https://i0.wp.com/41.media.tumblr.com/409659d720fac295278f956fd330eb9d/tumblr_ngg7hfJRCS1r6wna6o1_1280.png

Now I’m positive that this Popsugar challenge is going to take all year to finish. I’ve already checked off four of the categories.

A book by a female author – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

A mystery or thriller – Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga

A book by an author you’ve never read before – Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

A book set in another country – Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

For some of them I’ll have to research to find a fitting book (For example, a book with antonyms in it’s title) but I think the rest will be fairly easy. I’m really interested in finishing this because I think it’ll greatly improve the variety of genres I read.

Half Price Books 2015 Calendar

As for the Half-Price Books Calendar I just really like how there are book recommendations from authors every month. I was initially thinking that I could read the recommended books every month, but there are like 10 and I don’t want to limit what I read.

January was Marie Lu’s month!

Marie Lu January HPB CalendarHer recommendations were all YA novels and I recognized most, if not all, of them.

Marie Lu's January Author Recommendations

I highlighted the books I have read. All of those books are ones that I want to read, perhaps before the end of this year. I think it’d be interesting to challenge myself to read at least two of the books off of each month’s recommendation list. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to do this month’s because knowing me, I’ll end up forgetting to find the book. Maybe I’ll start in February? I’m still debating.

2014 Reading in Review: Overview + The Best Books

2014 was the year I increased the amount I read. It was one of my resolutions of 2014 and I can definitely say that I completed it!

(Yes I know this is really late but I tried okay?)

I accomplished my Goodreads goal!

goodreads 2014 reading challenge

Since I was so close to 100 books in 2014, I’m going to set my next goal at 100. I know I could probably set it even higher, but I don’t want to end up having to stress out if I have less time to read.

Honest Fact: I accidentally set a book I had already read as “Currently-Reading” so I technically only read 94 books. I also have this habit of just marking DNF’s as “Read” because I’m of the mindset that I tried to read it; I just failed.

The genre of books I read the most of: Contemporary

The genre of books I read the least of: Horror & Graphic Novels

I like contemporaries but I think I should try to tackle more of the fantasy/paranormal, horror, and historical books I have on my TBR in 2015. I definitely want to look more into graphic novels. Maybe I’ll even try reading comic books! Any recommendations?

Something horrible I realized about what I read this year

I DNF’d 10 books. That’s terrible. In 2015, I want to decrease that number and give every book more of a chance.

New policy: After I decide to DNF, I must give the book at least three more tries before I officially drop it.

I’ve decided that instead of doing a typical “Top-Ten books of 2014”, I’ll just categorize it by genre and some other topics. They’ll be split up into two parts, one with what I considered the best this year, the other with what I refer to as Superlative Awards.


The Best

Best Contemporary: Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road

Everybody, their pet dogs, and their grandmothers saw that coming. But I’m not sorry because Jellicoe Road was amazing.

My review


Best Thriller: Game – Barry Lyga

Game (Jasper Dent #2)

Second book in the I Hunt Killers trilogy and one of the only good thrillers I’ve read this year. This is a key reason that I need to read more action and adventure novels. So I don’t end up recommending the same three books all year.


Best Retelling: The School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)

It’s not really a “retelling” but it has a lot of lovely fairytale and fantasy themes. I enjoyed this book a lot even if it was a middle grade novel. I’m well aware that this book only got 3 stars but it’s much better than other things I’ve read in the last year.

My review


Best Setting: The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

Although I didn’t love this book, I couldn’t deny how well the setting was established. I could taste the popcorn in the air when I read it.

My mini-review


Best Plot-Twist: Complicit – Stephanie Kuehn

Complicit

This is a complete mindfuck of a book. It’s really slow in the beginning but the ending is worth it.

My review


Best Characters: To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

Love the characters and this had amazing character development.

My mini-review