7 Books in 7 Days

In order to clear my head from Infected, (see my last blog post about my latest podcast *ahem*), I binged through some library books I’ve had an ARC I thought I was excited about. (Spoiler: it was terrible.) So Below is 7 short summaries on the books I read this week!

Book 1: Heist Society by Ally Carter

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This was the first book I picked up after Infected, because for whatever reason, I didn’t feel like Ally Carter could steer me wrong. Well, I wasn’t wrong. If you haven’t read any of Ally Carter’s books, I recommend them all. The Embassy Row series isn’t my favorite, but I’ll talk about those in a minute. Katarina is a art thief who wants to get out of the family business, but after her father is accused of stealing a dangerous man’s artwork, she must return the artwork or watch her loved ones suffer. The sense of family (I also saw Fast and the Furious this past week so like, *FAMILY*) in the teen thieves is amazing. I just got the second ebook, and I’m excited to see where she goes next!

Book 2: All Fall Down by Ally Carter and Book 3: See How They Run by Ally Carter

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These are the darkest of Ally Carter’s books I’ve read. I have the third one ready to go for after I do some reading for my podcast, so I’ll have this series wrapped up soon! This book deals with a sixteen year old girl trying to decide if her mother was murdered or if she has actually broke mentally. Up until right before the reveal, I honestly didn’t know if the author went one way or the other. The second book adds a layer of mystery, which I’m not sure I care for, but it still focuses on if Grace has broken, especially after the reveal.

Book 4:  Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

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I am so glad I finally got to read this book! I have adored Anna Kendrick since she played the friend in Twilight, and it was a blast to hear about how she thinks back on those years positively….mostly because they paid the bills. Like everyone else who read this, I want to be her friend so much. But I doubt my weirdness will match yours…..though if you ever want to get coffee? Yes? Okay! No seriously, Anna Kendrick is an amazing actress, an amazing child actress, and is exactly as weird as she sounds on Twitter.

Book 5: Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

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I’m a little addicted to my public library’s overdrive account,  I’ll admit it. And seeing that this book was available with no hold? I picked it up instantly without knowing what it is. Turns out, this was the last autobiography Fisher wrote, and it was about her time on set making the first Star Wars. At least, that’s how it is marketed. About eighty percent of this book is about her relationship with Harrison Ford and what they did on set, and the last twenty is about her interactions with fans. Carrie was a treasure, and I am sure I’ll love her other autobiographies more than this one.

Book 6: I Don’t Know Where You Know Me From by Judy Greer

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This book is adorable. I bought it when it first came out, but I’ve come to learn that I prefer autobiographies in audiobook form if they’re read by the author. Judy Greer is one of my favorite actresses and has been forever. I don’t know why she doesn’t get star work, but I’m happy to see her when she pops up. What I didn’t realize is that she actually has a degree in acting, is married, and that’s she’s just as wonderful off screen as she is on screen. It’s a quick listen, and Hollywood: LET’S GET JUDY GREER A STAR ROLE.

Also her husband and her still have separate houses even after marrying and I kind of love this? It reminds me of my grandparents.

Book 7: Let’s Try This Again by Jordyn Woodtke 

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I haven’t read a book in so long that made me hate it from the first sentence, make a book I thought I hate seem good, and yet somehow I finished this book.
This book had so much slut shaming (though she states after using the word MULTIPLE TIMES how she hates the word and doesn’t want to use it….and then uses it again. multiple times.) I suppose we are to think that the MC is amazing and awesome and has always been and doesn’t care….but you do. Too much. And it’s because you are TWENTY-TWO.
I will never get the phrase “Picasso of Pussy” out of my head and I will never forgive her for it. Also if the “sex was so good I couldn’t describe it” well then…maybe you….and your “character”….aren’t actually writers? Because good lord the writing on this was terrible.
Also, the MC is supposed to be 22, and has “searched the East Coast for a writing job and none are perfect so let’s go out to the West Coast” just. You are 22. Also, then she “has enough experience to be a former boy band’s PA”? Yeah okay.

This book was not written well — it read like a bad teenage fan fiction book or a teenager’s faux diary. Seriously, do not recommend.

Also, Mom? Thank you for never feeling the need to be my friend before my mom. I am so glad our friendship is organic. And for probably slapping me if I ever called you a bitch.

Episode 2: Infected by Scott Sigler with Tim Lowe and Joe Schulman

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Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or where ever you listen to podcasts:

iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play| Pocket Cast| RSS Feed

Word of the day: Gooey

For Episode 2 we discussed Tim’s recommendation, Infected by Scott Sigler. I apologize in advance as I fidgeted around the entire episode with the necklace from Surly-Ramics Etsy Store and didn’t realize it was picking up in the recording.

On top of the novel we discuss our vague survival plans for surviving the apocalypse, I Am Legend both book and movie, the author’s approach to modern day “publishing”, whether or not the guys would take Perry’s way if infected, and host Meghan goes on a mini rant about how everyone should be watching Buffy again.

Books referenced in this podcast episode:

Infected by Scott Sigler
Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
The Children of Hurin by J. R. R. Tolkien
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Buffy Season 8 by Joss Whedon

Find us on the web:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Email: judgingcoverspodcast@gmail.com

Find our host and guest(s):

Meghan’s Twitter | Tim’s Twitter

Check out this episode!

Book Podcast?

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I haven’t talked about this on my blog much at all, mostly because it’s been in the works for a month or two now? But as I am editing and gearing up to post my first episode, I need to announce it everywhere! I am hosting a new podcast called Judging Book Covers, which is a biweekly book club podcast where I’ll bring on two guests to read a book suggested by each guest and we’ll all discuss!

My first episode is on Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian, and I’m joined by two of my friends: Tim Lowe and Joe Schulman. Going forward I *think* it’ll auto connect to my wordpress, but we’ll see?

Book Review: Follow Me Back

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I originally chose this book due to a quick read of the synopsis, as well as my love for silly stories about celebrities falling in love with a fan in strange ways. Especially when they have a mystery twist.

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Follow Me Back

By A. V. Geiger

Published Date: June 2017

Format: ebook ARC
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Romance
Ratingmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 4/5 Moose

Synopsis

Synopsis taken from Netgalley:

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts Follow Me Back is the  first book of a new duology. Written for the online generation this thriller  will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end.

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murder at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Characters

Tessa Hart: An agoraphobic  18 year old, whoose lif has become all about her twitter world.

Eric Thorn: A famous singer who has become paranoid since another singer has been killed by an obsessed fan.

Rants, Raves, and General Thoughts

I’ll admit, I submitted for this advanced reader copy because I might have been watching It Follows on Netflix. I was a little disappointed that this isn’t a weird ghost/demon story, but it still was right up my alley. I secretly kind of love books where celebrities genuinely fall in love with one of their fans in some way.

I also tend to really love epistolary novels….which this isn’t entirely. It’s a good combination of pros and documents. I found Tessa to be incredibly relatable, even without not knowing what caused her paranoia until much later in the book. The author also doesn’t try to sell her as a drop dead gorgeous girl who is just slightly flawed — she feels real.

This book also makes me as a Twitter user feel wonderfully uncomfortable. I have never randomly confessed my love to a celebrity….I honestly am more likely to yell at a corporation I feel has wronged me. But still, I do see the people that respond, saying anything to see if they’ll get a reaction. And I will like/retweet things people say….especially authors.

This book is well written and fairly straight forward, though it has a nice twist. I found I related with Tessa’s anxieties, and that they were written with just enough tension but not over the top at all.

Final Thoughts

I don’t find too many young adult thrillers that are great — Harlan Coben has a great miniseries worth checking out ahem — and I would also recommend A.V. Geiger. I have started following her on Wattpad too! Though I doubt the sequel to this book will be published there. And be advised — this book has a cliffhanger ending. I cannot wait to see what happens next!

….oh I have to wait a year? REALLY? Sigh.

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns

I have not openly disliked a book as much as I did this one. It has taken me over a month to calm down my ire to be able to write this review. And even then, it’ll probably be brief.

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Three Dark Crowns

Kendare Blake

Published 2016

Format: Hardback
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Rating: moose-md 1.5/5 Moose

Synopsis

From Goodreads, because I can’t come up with one that isn’t just me screaming angrily:

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Doesn’t it sound so fascinating? 3rvzj

Characters

Katherine: The weak Poison princess

Arsinoe: The weak Naturalist princess

Mirabella: The strong Elemental princess

Jules: Arsinoe’s best friend (most of Arsinoe’s story is told from her point of view).

Rants, Raves and General Thoughts 

This. Book. Made. Me. So. Angry.

Part of me felt like it was a strategic marketing plan to get people to buy more books of this series, because everyone kept talking about how amazing the last 25% of the book is. And you know what? IT WASN’T WORTH IT. I wish had DNF’d this book when I first had the urge.

This book focused so much on the three princesses getting ready for their big 16th birthday party that would be the start of their battle for the throne, and on boys. What this book did not focus on was:

  • Why did the three princesses have to battle it out for the throne?
  • Why does two of the sisters have to die?
  • Why does the mom die the moment the children are born?
    • Who rules the island while the princess/Queens are children/babies if their parents are gone?
  • Where does the magic come from?
  • Where is the girls’ dad?
  • Why must the princesses be separate? Why do they hate each other?
  • Why can’t they leave the island?
  • What’s their relationship with the main land?

Seriously, so much of this book just didn’t make sense. It was boring and insufferable listening to the princesses whine. None of them were enjoyable, none of them worth rooting for. And SO MANY PEOPLE are anti-Joseph. Why? He never lied, he just thought he felt love until he found love. Did I miss a subplot where he did anything truly terrible?? Why all the hate for Joseph, yet none for the guy who betrayed Katherine?

And what the hell?! Katherine’s “training” was about her learning to flirt and steal suitors…because why? Because it makes it more YA to have her curled up in a guy’s lap kissing on him rather than learning to properly fight and protect herself?

I just cannot believe how insanely boring this book was. It would be one thing if it was exposition and political, but it was primarily whining, wandering around as they WAITED FOR THEIR BIRTHDAY PARTY. FOR 75% OF THE BOOK. I WAS PROMISED A BLOODY AND POLITICAL BOOK.

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Final Verdict 

I won’t be reading the next book(s)past its synopsis(es). You cannot convince me that the second book will fill in all the holes and make this book where 320+ was wasted space seem worth it. This book was a representation of the things I actually dislike in YA books, and I’m still so angry.

2016: A Book Review

One of my resolutions is to remember to post more (I got overwhelmed between trying to write more and adjusting to my new city!) But I did still read a ton, and I was organizing my books into categories when I saw Mari at Story and Somnomancy post this breakdown that I liked, that it looks like Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner posted. So here’s my reading habits broken down from 2016 – enjoy!

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2016 Reading Stats

Number of books read: 80
Genre You Read the Most From: Young Adult (too vague?) 

*added in*
Under 250 pages (not including novellas): 26
Between 400-449 pages: 6
Between 450-499 pages: 1
Over 500 pages: 2
Over 1000 pages:  0

Number of…
Audiobooks: 10
Re-reads: 11
DNFs (did not finish): 2 (About 5-7 that I plan on finishing, but shelved for now.)

Number of books rated…
Five Stars: 21 (9 of which were comic volumes) 
One/Two Stars: 7 2 stars, 0 1 stars

Number of authors met in 2016:  11

  • Victoria Aveyard (Signed)
  • Sophie Jordan
  • Rouhani Chokshi (Signed)
  • Sarah McCarry
  • Marie Rutkoski
  • Renee Ahdieh
  • Victoria Schwab (x2….and already planning to see her in 2017 T__T) (Signed) 
  • Sarah Porter
  • Fran Wilde 
  • Kim Liggett (Signed) 
  • Erika Lewis

Number of book events attended in 2016: 5

Number of books you read in one day: 2 at the most

Number of books that made you cry: At least 12. I am a crier. 

Number of 2017 books you have on pre-order: 0 (I don’t pre-order, I just wander into BoW eventually.) 

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read in 2016:

Stand-Alone: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Series: Firebird (A Thousand Pieces of You, etc) by Claudia Gray

Mid-Series: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Graphic Novel: Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Remembrance by Meg Cabot, The Last Star by Rick Yancey

3. Most Surprising (in a good or bad way) Book You Read? Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People to Read (And They Did)? A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

5. Best Series You Started in 2016?  Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best Series You Started in 2016? Asylum by Madeleine Roux 

Best Sequel of 2016? A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Best Series Ender of 2016? Firebird series by  Claudia Gray

6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2016? Ernest Cline and Rouhani Chokshi

7. Best Book From a Genre You Didn’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone? The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year? Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

9. Book You Read in 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? I mean obviously A Gathering of Shadows, prior to the final book’s release.

10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read In 2016? The Wicked + Divine 1831 (both), A Gathering of Shadows, This Savage Song

11. Most Memorable Character of 2016? Lila Bard. Still to this day. 

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2016? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Madel and The Star-Touched Queen by Rouhani Chokshi

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016? ?Laughable Love by Milan Kundera

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? World War Z by Max Brooks

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016? Taken from After the Witch Hunt by Megan Falley 

“The first time we made love I realized why
I never prayed. One human can only say
Oh God so many times.”

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016? Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (longest) and Belinda Blinked.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most (Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.) A Gathering of Shadows (I KNOW I KNOW)

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar) 
Rhy and Alucard FOR SURE

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year Harlan Coben brought back Myron Bolitar and Win Lockwood and my heart was full again. 

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: Home by Harlan Coben

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016? Alucard Emery 

23. Best 2016 debut you read? The Star-Touched Queen by Rouhani Chokshi

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? ?

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? ?

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016? 12 books. I am a crier. I don’t think I can list them all.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? What’s a Soulmate by Lindsey Ouimet

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? I honestly cannot think of one. 

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016? I have no idea — I guess Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as it was the only drama I read. 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? A Gathering of Shadows, because of the bloody cliffhanger. 

LOOKING AHEAD

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017? Heartless by Marissa Meyer

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)? The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco or Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? Caraval by Stephanie Garber

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017? A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017? Finally finish a book! 

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: None yet

Book Review: Carry On

I bought this book from Books of Wonder when I came to NYC to look for an apartment last October. I knew nothing of the book, nothing of Fangirl… I didn’t even read my first Rainbow Rowell book until months later. But everyone was excited about this book, and I wasn’t going to pass up a signed copy.

I held off reading it until I had a better reference on Rainbow Rowell. I had read 2 of her books by the time I started this book, and I decided to read this book before Fangirl, as my friend kept talking about how much she loved it. 522 pages later, I’m a Simon+Baz ‘shipper.

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Carry On

by Rainbow Rowell
Published October 2015

Format: Hardback (Signed copy – whaaaaat)
Genre: Fantasy, YA, “Fanfiction”
Rating: moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 4.5/5 Moose


 

Synopsis

Simon Snow: chosen one. A 17-year-old boy destined to heal the magical community. Too bad he sucks at magic in a general sense. He can’t handle a wand, and he’s a bit like a boiling pot when his emotions get too much. And his roommate Baz (who Simon is convinced is evil and a vampire) won’t let him forget it.

Carry On is the final book in Simon Snow’s series, culminating in the final showdown against the Insidious Humdrum. As the boo says itself, it’s a ghost story, love story, mystery and melodrama. With lots and lots of monsters.

Characters

Simon SnowHarry Potter The Chosen One. He’s the first Normal, non-magical lieage person to have magic. He’s starting his last year at Watford, a magical school in the UK. He is a bit of a doof but good heart-ed and brave. He is blonde and thin, as he’s lived in and out of foster care his entire life. He is burdened with the idea that he is the chosen one, as he considers himself average at best.

Basilton “Baz” PitchDraco Malfoy Baz is Simon’s roommate. He is missing at the beginning of the book, which causes Simon to obsess about where he is. He’s from one of the oldest and most prestigious families in the magic community – his mother was the former headmaster of Watford. It is suspected (by Simon) that Baz is a vampire. Simon and Baz have been mortal enemies since their first year.

Penelope “Penny” BunceHermione Granger Penny is another member of a prestigious family in the magical community. She is Simon’s first (and essentially only) friend. She is brilliant (Second best in the class after Baz), and stands by Simon constantly.

Agatha WellbyloveGinny Weasley or Cho Chang Agatha is Simon’s girlfriend, just short of his finace honestly. She is a conflicted character, torn between her support for Simon and her desire for a normal life.

The MageDumbledore The headmaster who took over after Baz’s mother’s death. He is grumpy and dresses like Robin Hood.

Rants, Raves, and General Thoughts

Before I start, I am just going to say that I absolutely love fan fiction. Harry Potter, Arrow, and Divergent FF are currently on my ereader, and I also love crossovers. Hell, my Camp NaNoWriMo story was 20K words of fanfiction.

But I was a bit apprehensive about this book. I started it in December, but the first chapter turned me off a little bit. It has always bothered me that Fifty Shades of Grey is profiting as it is a Twilight fan fiction that just has names changes. So reading a novel that was, in my mind, essentially a Harry Potter fan fiction…I felt slightly hypocritical. Because really, the book read like a fan fiction of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

And the book, that theoretically read like it was number 7 or 8 in a series, had way too much explanation in it. I half appreciated it as I knew nothing about the series (duh), but it didn’t ring as realistic.

Reasons I was wrong:
1. I hadn’t read Fangirl yet. (though I have at the time of writing this.) Carry On is Cather’s fan fiction of the Simon Snow series, so it is another layer separate from Harry Potter.
2. About 100 pages into the book, I stopped thinking of Simon as Harry, Penny as Hermione, etc. I think this is because Baz finally enters the picture, and the story changes.

I really enjoyed the twist that Rowell puts on the magic world and the school. The students are required to learn how to do their clothes. Spells are based in common / popular phrases, rather than Latin. And (I’m probably in the minority on this) I think Agatha might be my favorite character. She’s suffocating from what’s expected of her, silently – she is a mage that doesn’t feel that having magic is a benefit. She doesn’t want to be Simon’s prize, and while she cares for Simon, she doesn’t care enough to lay down her life. She was the character in the book that I feel like most background characters feel like: this idiot!boy is going to get me killed, and all I want to do is graduate and get away.

I love that you get a sense that The Mage isn’t purely a good, fatherly figure. I wasn’t sure how much we were supposed to love and trust him (or see him as Dumbledore), so when he first shows up in the book, I thought the villain was wearing his face. He’s probably a complicated character in the series. I think I would have liked to see more of him, though we do get a good bit of his character in this book.

And the bromance. I almost didn’t write about the romance! Simon and Baz are adorable. I like reading the start of their relationship from both view points. It made me want a mortal enemy that might secretly be in love with me.

Final Verdict

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When I finished this book, I originally gave it 4 moose. I enjoyed it, but wasn’t as girly over it as everyone else I had read seemed to be. I immediately read Fangirl after, and reading that added an extra .5 moose to my review. But seriously – I love Fangirl more. I’ll review it tonight or this weekend of course!

If you love Harry Potter and its fan fiction, read this book. If you like urban fantasy books with a cute love story between the monsters and vampires, read this book.

Book Review: Teen Frankenstein

I am so excited that I am getting this review in just under the wire. This book is officially released tomorrow. The ARC was provided kindly by NetGalley (back in October…for Halloween…)

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Teen Frankenstein

by Chandler Baker
January 2016

Format: ebook, arc
Genre: horror, gothic, young adult, classic retellings
Rating: moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 3.75/5 Moose

Synopsis

Victoria “Tor” Frankenstein became obsessed with curing death after her father is killed by lightning during one of his experiments. Unfortunately, she and her best friend Owen keep failing at bringing back rats. One dark and rainy night, Tor accidentally hits a boy with her car, killing him pretty quickly. Rushing him back to the lab and increasing the voltage, she is able to bring the boy back to life, now named “Adam” as he suffers memory loss.

Adam is a nearly perfect human specimen, minus the memory loss and the occasional angry temper. Shortly after he starts at her high school, kids go missing and turn up violently murdered. And in a small town, a new kid and serial killer arriving at the time doesn’t seem like much of a coincidence.

Characters

Victoria “Tor” Frankenstein – A junior, who excels in the science field. She’s a bit of a nerd and genius, causing her to think she’s better than everyone around her. After her father died and her mom spiraled out of control, she began researching bringing back people from the dead.

Owen Bloch – Owen is Victoria’s best friend, who is a bit of a tinkerer. He’ll take apart and put back together anything. Victoria frequently thinks he just doesn’t get her, and he unwillingly helps her out after she kills a boy.

Adam Smith – Not much is known about Adam’s past in the beginning. But after he is bright back from the dead, he is a naïve, overgrown toddler. He joins the high school while Victoria tests his ability to blend into normal culture, eventually joining the football team and dating one of the prettiest girls in the school. He has a terrible temper and occasionally disappears. He needs to be recharged every so often as well.

Rants, Raves, and General Thoughts

I’ll admit, I put this book off as long as possible. I read the first 2-3 chapters and set it down. I don’t know what it is about Frankenstein, but I’m a bit of a purist I guess. In fact, I regretted accepting this ARC shortly after doing so.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that after 10%-15% of the book, I was actually enjoying it. I’m not sure if I just was so against reading it at first that I didn’t realize the MC was female, but it took her killing a guy before I finally realized it. At first, I thought that was a really bad sign, but actually, kudos to the author. Victoria comes off as a sociopathic teenager, just how you would expect Sherlock Holmes to be as a teenager. She “doesn’t react like a normal teenage girl,” as a she frequently realizes, but what’s even more so is she doesn’t like a normal person, period. She’s out to protect the main goal: her science experiment Adam.

The book was dark without being overly gruesome, a decent horror mix. I blame the bumpy beginning on my own issues, and rereading it would probably show it to be much better than I remember it.

The issues I had with the book aren’t anything major. The amount of times “My Adam” is started driving me nuts, or consider making a drinking game. I get it, I do, but cut it in half and it’d probably still have the same affect. The twists — Adam’s past, who the Hunter is — could have been done a bit better. They’re both a bit rushed for my taste.

Also, I really loved her dog’s name — Einstein.

Final Verdict

I’m super apprehensive about this being a series rather than a standalone, but I’ll definitely check out book 2 when it comes out. I’m assuming it’s about someone else? I can’t imagine Tor finding another body so soon, or having a different story.

As for this book, give it a shot. If you like Frankenstein retellings, totally worth a quick read.

Book Review: The 5th Wave

I started off the year with a BANG! I’m curious to see what tops this book this year.

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The 5th Wave

by Rick Yancey

Published 2013

Format: eBook
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Apocalyptic
Rating: moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 5/5 Moose

Synopsis

Cassie might be the only human alive, but she’s not going to stop searching for her brother. In fact, she’ll continue to go through the world thinking she is the only human left, trusting no one. Life has gotten quite difficult since the Others appeared in the sky. Since they appeared, there have been four waves that is killing off humanity. 1st Wave: darkness, 2nd Wave: tidal wave causing earthquake, 3rd Wave: plague, 4th Wave: trust no one.

The Others have infiltrated earth, looking just like all other humans. Their only exception: they kill anything they see. She meets up with Evan Walker, another lonely human survivor who agrees to help Cassie find her brother.

Told from multiple points of view, this book is an exciting post-apocalyptic adventure.

Characters

Cassie Sullivan – Cassie is a 16 year old girl, convinced she is the last human alive. Except that she has to keep hope that her baby brother, Sammy, is still alive, or she would lose all reason to keep fighting. She was an average high school student, in love with a guy named Ben Parish. She totes around Bear, her sole companion, occasionally chatting with his judgmental self.

Sammy Sullivan -Sammy is a five year boy and Cassie’s younger brother. At the survivor camp, he is taken away with other kids on a bus to an unknown location. He gave his stuffed bear to Cassie to keep her safe at night while they are separated. He’s a huge Star Wars fan and hopes that he can fly an X-fighter into the Others and save the day.

Evan Walker– Evan is a mysterious teenager that saves Cassie’s life. He, like most other humans still alive, has lost his entire family. He does a lot of hunting and agrees to help Cassie find her brother.

Zombie – Zombie is found nearly dead and diseased, harboring extreme guilt about his sister. He is saved in time and joins the cause against the Others. He is roughly 17, former football star, and former all around American Mid-Western boy.

Ringer – Ringer is another soldier kid that joins Zombie’s platoon. She’s a good shot and is gunning for a Sergeant position. She and Zombie become comrades, if not friends. She doesn’t have a huge part in this book, but I get the feeling she will in the sequel(s).

Rants, Raves, and General Thoughts

I’m not the biggest sci-fi nut, but I do love the occasional alien story. I’ve seen all the Star Wars, sure, but I haven’t read all the books and such that go with the fandom. I’ve read a few of the Ender’s Game series, but I am not itching to finish it. This is probably why I hadn’t really heard of The 5th Wave, prior to seeing the preview with Chloë Moretz in it. (I don’t know why, but I super enjoy her. I think it’s something about supporting Georgia peoples.)
I read a description that said this book was like The Road meets Twilight. I can’t refine it now, which is probably a good thing, because….don’t compare books to Twilight guys — at least not in a good way.
And don’t ever put Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in the same sentence as Twilight.
I’m glad I gave this book a try despite that.

This book did remind me of The Road a little bit — a less depressing and less hopeless (like I picture The Road constantly in grey tones, while this one has more green and a little brighter?) Cassie is probably how most of us would be after an apocalypse — surviving because of some random, obscure reason that may only make sense to her.

I actually liked the multiple points of view in this novel, even when it was from Sammy’s POV. Maybe even especially? There is no overwhelming sense of thought or hope that humans will survive on the whole, no sudden deus ex machina so far.

The romance story in the book is…interesting. To discuss it would spoil quite a bit, but it’s kind of where I understand the Twilight reference. Evan Walker is a bit of a creepy stalker, but Cassie, instead of finding him super protective and wonderful, tells him that he’s being super creepy. I’m not invested to any major extent, but I’m curious to see what’ll happen.

I’ve seen some people complaining about the aliens. I loved Animorphs growing up, and the Others vaguely reminded me of yeerks. Maybe this is why I didn’t dislike them at all. It’s creepier to me when an alien hides  among humans rather than just blow them up.

Final Verdict

Loved it. I recommend it to everyone!
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I sent it to my brother as a recommendation — I should interview him one day on his thoughts on the books I recommend to him.

I’m curious to see how the movie will turn out. January releases are quite a death note, and it doesn’t look the best, but hell, I’ll go see it.

Book Review: Secondhand Souls

Sometimes it takes you nine years to write a sequel, and it takes the reader nine years to realize they needed a sequel! Secondhand Souls is the sequel to A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. A Dirty Job  is on my top ten favorite books ever; I even remember the day I found it. The sequel is decent, though like many series, not as good as the original. I’ll try not to spoil it too much, but some minor spoilers to follow. So without further ado…

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Secondhand Souls

by Christopher Moore

Published 2015

Format: eBook
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Humour
Rating: moosemoosemoose 3/5 Moose


Synopsis

Set a year after Charlie Asher has died (to the world – to close friends, he is actually trapped in a the body of a 14 inch meat suit by his Buddhist nun girlfriend Audrey), San Francisco is starting to feel a shift in the balance. Souls are mysteriously disappearing, and it’s not because the Death Merchants are collecting them. Someone or something is stealing them, and the only clue involves the Golden Gate Bridge. The group from A Dirty Job must get together and figure out what’s going on, before the Underworld tries to come topside again.

Characters

THERE ARE SO MANY CHARACTERS. Let me see if I can organize this.

Major Characters

Charlie Asher – A former Death Merchant, beta-male, who is trapped in a 14 inch meat suit with a ten inch dong. Father of Sophie, the big D Death. He is trying to find a human body to move back to.

Minty Fresh – A seven foot tall death merchant. Owns a record store and a failed Pizza/jazz store. Probably the closest thing to a best friend that Charlie has, begrudgingly.

Alphonse Rivera – A newer death merchant and a semi-retired cop. Starts to realize something is wrong in San Fran, especially when the Emperor comes in looking to write down all the information of the dead who haven’t moved on.

Lily – A former goth who worked with Charlie and dated Minty. Had dreams of being a chef, but currently works at a suicide crisis center. She is grumpy and angry, especially since she has nothing magical or special about her.

Audrey- Charlie’s Buddhist nun girlfriend who trapped him in his current meat suit. She is in charge of the Book of the Dead, which is how she creates all the meat people.

Minor Characters

Sophie Asher – Depressingly not a main character, despite being the Big Actual Death at the age of 7. Can kill any living thing by pointing at it and saying “kitty.” She is followed by two hellhounds (goggies) who have gone missing at the beginning of the book.

Jane and Cassie – Jane is Charlie’s sister, and Cassie is her wife. They are Sophie’s legal guardians.

Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs Bummer and Lazarus-

Wiggly Charlie/Bob/Meat People – The group Audrey created to save souls. Wiggly Charlie and Bob are the only ones who can speak.

The Man in Yellow – Also know as Lemon Fresh, who is Minty’s cousin. He’s the avatar for an underworld god. He’s also helping the Morrigan try to get back topside.

Mike – A Golden Gate Bridge painter who can see ghosts.

Rant, Raves, General Thoughts

I am actually not a Christopher Moore fan. I’ve tried a few of his other books, but I haven’t finished any of them but this one and A Dirty Job. Unfortunately, this book seems to fall more in the “why I’m not a Christopher Moore fan” than “YAY CHRISTOPHER MOORE” category. I need to also realize that if a book takes me longer than 4 days to read, I probably don’t like it too much.

I can’t express how much I love Charlie and Sophie, especially Sophie who has been living with Jane and Cassie. For instance, Sophie is currently vegan, which means she eats only chicken nuggets and cheese newts. I will read a third book if it’s about a grown up Sophie (or hell, if Sophie is the main character.) If it had been more about Sophie with such little action going on, I probably would have enjoyed this book so much more. I mean, quotes from Sophie:

A little girl’s voice said, ‘I am become Death, destroyer of worlds!’ Audrey held the phone out for Charlie. ‘It’s for you.'”

“At ‘tooth fairy,’ Sophie popped her head out the door. ‘I will smack that bitch up and take hr bag of quarters! I will not be fucked with!‘”

‘Their names are Death, Disease, War, and Sparkle-Darkle Glitter-tits,’ Sophie said. ‘They’re the four little ponies of the Apocalypse.'”

Yeah, the book would have been better if Sophie had been the main character. It wasn’t terrible, but very slow moving. I listened to a ton of Read It and Weep instead of reading this book, which serious makes me sad. The actual story – who is stealing the ghosts and why – is just very meh and kind of forgotten. I actually had to skim over parts – like the ghosts telling the stories of how they died – because I just didn’t care.

Final Verdict

If you’ve read A Dirty Job  and need to know what happened to Charlie and the gang, read this book. It’s not a terrible continuation, and it doesn’t set up for a third book, though if there’s one about Sophie, I’ll totally read it.