Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey from Gingerreadslainey & is now moderated by Sam from Thoughts On Tomes. Each week thereโ€™s a different bookish related topic (this varies & isnโ€™t always strictly books) & you get to list your top 5 books or bookish answers related to the topic.ย This weekโ€™s topic is Authors You Are Waiting on Another Book FromThese are your favorite authors who you want to write another book but haven’t yet. Or they are writing something, but no title or synopsis has been released and it isn’t coming out until 2018. Try to keep this to authors who haven’t announced anything concrete about a new book, not authors that have a highly anticipated release coming out before the end of 2016.

 

The entire day I walked around with only 4 until I got home & walked past my shelves….yea sometimes all you need is walk past some shelves to jog that memory ๐Ÿ˜‰ These topics lately have been requiring a bit more thought & I LOVE it!

 

1. Pierce Brown- Morning Star, the conclusion to the Red Rising trilogy was an absolute roller coaster of a ride & I did NOT want to get off! I am a Howler for life & need more of this beautiful man’s work…I follow him on Twitter & Instagram just for the little crumbs he throws our way. A spin off is definitely in the works but there has been no mention of a publication date, he is in the writing stages from what I can gather…sigh…can’t rush greatness ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pierce-Brown-headshot-ยฉ-Joan-Allen-Photo-small

2. Erin MorgensternThe Night Circus, One of my favorite books for the beautiful lush world it introduced me to. I had never read nor listened to anything so magical & haunting until I came across this woman’s work & as I mentioned to another blogger earlier today, this author shrouded in a bit of mystery just like her book SooO if anyone knows ANYTHING about Ms. Morgenstern & the possibility of a new book please share *crosses fingers, does a little chant*

morgenstern-erin-e1344985587738

3. Benjamin Alire SaenzAristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, I read this book & instantly fell in love with this man’s poetic style of writing. From what I’ve gathered, it’s hard to get a book out of this guy lol, but every once in a while he drops a gem. Goodreads has been updated with a cover-less photo of There Will be Other Summers (Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe #2) but no publication date, this saddens me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

6a00d83451b5a969e20147e3771125970b

4. Kathryn StockettThe Help, What ever happened to Ms. Stockett? I am not one to read much Historical Fiction but The Help pulled me in from page 1! This book did an amazing job in covering race & politics in the 60’s. The characters have stuck with me both after reading the book & watching them come life on the screen.

kathryn-stockett

5. George R.R. MartinA Song Of Ice & Fire- I don’t think this needs an explanation because I’m pretty sure I’m one of MANNNNY holding our breaths for the next book in the series…MY MAN PLEASE DON’T MAKE US WAIT ANY LONGER!

george-rr-martin-wild-cards

 

So, these are my Top 5 Wednesday picks. Please let me know if any of you fellow book bloggers are also eagerly awaiting any of these authors & drop your link down below so that I can take a gander ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Review: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 15th 2014

Format: Paperback (I own)

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Page Count: 312 pages

Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…1/2

 Goodreads Synopsis:

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. Sheโ€™s enigmaticโ€ฆ. Sheโ€™s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emiโ€™s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

 

Some of my 1st thoughts reading Everything Leads to You, were that Nina LaCour hit the nail on the head when it comes to toxic relationships. During the first few pages, we get introduced to Emi who is attempting to put a stop to the break-ups & make-ups between her & her slightly older girlfriend Morgan. Morgan is attracted to Emi & suggests an open relationship whereas Emi is in love with Morgan. Things are made a bit more difficult seeing as they both are working on the same film production. Emi is an aspiring set designer & Morgan is a bit more established constructing sets. Very early on Emi decides that this 6th time is the last time & the following quote stuck with me because as someone who has been in a similar situation many years ago, I can relateโ€ฆ

โ€œWhen you love someone, you are sure. You donโ€™t need time to decide. You donโ€™t say stop and start over and over, like youโ€™re playing some kind of sport. You know the immensity of what you have and you protect it.โ€ 


This quote really made me thinkโ€ฆis this always true? I can honestly say that Iโ€™ve been in Emiโ€™s shoes & in the moment didnโ€™t understand that it is possible to love someone more than they actually love you (I was also very young). In Emiโ€™s situation, I definitely can see how this quote applies. Morgan was clearly not on the same page which led to toxic behavior. Iโ€™ve also been in Morganโ€™s shoes, and chose to let that person go because I wasnโ€™t ready. Emi setting out to move on from Morgan sets the stage for the rest of the book.
Detaching herself from Morgan was made easier by the AMAZING friendship Emi has with Charlotte, who also happens to be working on the same movie. Charlotte is the art department assistant and aspiring museum curator. We get to follow Emi & Charlotte around all of L.A. as they shop around for vintage furniture, art, and props to be used in the film. I donโ€™t think we get enough female friendships in books so this was like a breath of fresh air. I loved Charlotteโ€™s loyalty & fierce protectiveness over Emi.
It was during one of Emi & Charlotteโ€™s set shopping excursions that they come across an estate sale for a deceased big time Hollywood movie star. They also happened to have purchased a record which contained a note that would lead them on the hunt for answers. So Emi & Charlotte juggle life on the set of a major film & amateur detective workโ€ฆI donโ€™t even know if you would call it amateur, they were pretty darn good at it lol. Now from here on out, Iโ€™m going to get spoilery because I just have way too many feels after reading the last pageโ€ฆ

 
*************************************Spoilers Lay Ahead, Beware of the Spoiler******************

 

Emiโ€™s decision to investigate the note she found in the record they purchased at the estate, to me felt like a much needed distraction. All throughout the story as they hunt for answers, Emi continues to express her feelings that she is meant to be looking for these answers. The possibility of something greater awaits her at the end of this search. The note was left behind by an A list movie actor who had a one-night stand & as a result an estranged daughter. In his note he expresses his loss for words on their one-time coffee date. A father faced with his adult daughter and her child, his grandbaby. In the note he leaves info for his daughter Caroline to claim her inheritance, the only problem is that Caroline is deceased as well. FAST FORWARDโ€ฆ…That grandbaby has all grown UP! Her name is Ava & the dynamic duo that are Emi & Charlotte have managed to track her down. Ava is homeless & living in a shelter after she decided to leave her adoptive motherโ€™s home. Ava has only one best friend in the shelter whose name is Jamal & he is just as loyal and protective as Charlotte is over Emi. Once the trail leads to Ava, Emi is instantly attracted to her. No, itโ€™s not instalove. One of the things that I loved about Emi is that she is confident & comfortable in her own skin. The fact that she likes girls was not made to be this huge reveal which I appreciated. So many things were well done with this story that I can talk about for hours but instead Iโ€™ll name a few:

  • The inside look to film production—the behind the scenes look.
  •  Emiโ€™s journey with learning the ropes of a career in set design—you start from the bottom & work your way up and sometimes that means not always getting your way. Seeing Emi struggle with this lesson was very relatable.
  •  The vivid details given to describe how Emi envisions her ideas & makes them come to life on set.
  •  The realistic approach taken when filming an independent film vs. a major film production.
  • Again, the fact that Emiโ€™s sexuality wasnโ€™t center stage to the storyline.
  • Female friendshipsโ€ฆI need a Charlotte in my life lol.
  • AMAZING parents—Emiโ€™s parents seriously have to be the coolest with their shared bond of West Coast Gangster rap lol.
  •  The representation of financial diversity—Emi/Charlotte are well off compared to Ava and her best friend Jamal. A discussion is had btwn Jamal, Emi, & Charlotte where he points out that although Emiโ€™s parents are cool & received degrees for studying and being well versed in hip hop cultureโ€ฆhe has lived the life they have studied & it wasnโ€™t fascinating, but scary.

The only reason why I docked this half a star was because I think this wouldโ€™ve been EPIC as New Adult vs. YA Fiction. I can understand how some found the way things came to be as a bit unrealistic however, I got so much from this story that I didn’t judge it by how real their quest for answers felt. Overall, I loved the writing style & the friendships in this book. It was an enjoyable read with many smile worthy moments including THAT LAST LINE!!! Looking forward to reading more of Nina LaCourโ€™s books.
 

Review: Monstress Volume 1 by Marjorie M. Lou & illustrated by Sana Takedaย 

Monstress Volume 1 (collects issues #1-6)

Published by: Image Comics

Publication Date: July 19th 2016

Pages- 192 pages

Format- eGalley (Netgalley)

Rating: 4.5 stars



Iโ€™d like to thank Image Comics for approving me to receive an eGalley of the graphic novel Monstress Volume 1 via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
 
Confession:
I first caught wind of Monstress on Panels.net, the exact article I read listed this graphic novel as the best of 2016 so far & Panels has never steered me wrong

 http://panels.net/2016/02/02/the-best-comics-we-read-in-january/

Besides the fact that the cover is S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G!!! I immediately noticed our POC (aka people of color) female protagonist & knew that I had to read this one but at the time there were only single issues. I patiently awaited the 1st volume only to see that Netgalley had it listed & I went for it (already ordered a physical copy from Amazon).
Monstress has steampunk vibes & artwork that jump off the pages & demand that you take note of all the intricate details of each page. Iโ€™m a steampunk fan so this was like eye candy for me, kudos to Sana Takedaโ€™s beautiful illustrations…also, did anyone else catch the blurb by the MAN himself, Mr. Neil Gaiman?!?!๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

Plot:
I usually include the Goodreads or Amazon synopsis in my reviews except for when they are spoilery & this is one of those instances. Please stay away unless you want to be majorly spoiled as I was. Monstress is set in an alternate matriarchal 1900โ€™s Asia where we are introduced to Maika who is a teenage Arcanic (human-like monsters) being sold into slavery. As the story unravels we learn that a civil war took place between humans and the Arcanic, permanently creating a divide. We familiarize ourselves with some of the complex politics & history behind the war. Maika has felt the effects of the war in more ways than one, all of which have shaped her into one badass character. Maika is intelligent & strategic. She is resilient & persistent. Circumstances have slowly shaped her and you get a sense of power as soon as you meet her. Maika also seems to have a dark side to her which makes her all the more interesting. If youโ€™re looking for a graphic novel that is rich in an alternative history, politics, corruptness, war, experimentations, tons of female characters, and eye catching graphics like I am, then Monstress is for you.
 
 
Characters:
 
I think by now youโ€™ve gathered that I LOVE Maika so instead Iโ€™ll talk about some of the other charactersโ€ฆ

ยท Tuya– travels with an eagle by Maikaโ€™s side, we donโ€™t get any back story on Tuya but we know that Maika is very close to her
ยท Sophia Tekete– a Cumae (referred to as a witch nun) scientist that is very skilled with knives & is known for experimenting on the Arcanic
ยท Atena– Also a Cumae who works in the Cumae council, a scientist good with #โ€™s
ยท Yvette Lo Lim– Sophia Teketeโ€™s mother, I still donโ€™t know this womanโ€™s deal other than sheโ€™s sinister & has weird eating tastes

I thoroughly enjoyed Marjorie M. Liuโ€™s story & eagerly await the 2nd volume, ESPECIALLY after that ending!!!!

Highly recommend ๐Ÿ˜‰
 
 
 
 

Review: Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee

Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 26th 2016
Format: e-ARC (NetGalley)
Page Count: 336 pages
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 1/2

Goodreads Synopsis:

 Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins Clara and Hailey have lived in the same small town their entire livesโ€”no one stares at them anymore. But there are cracks in their quiet existence, and theyโ€™re slowly becoming more apparent.
Clara and Hailey are at a crossroads. Clara wants to stay close to home, avoid all attention, and study the night sky. Hailey wants to travel the world, learn from great artists, and dance with mysterious boys.
As high school graduation approaches, each twin must untangle her dreams from her sisterโ€™s, and figure out what it means to be her own person.


I’d like to thank Simon & Schuster for approving me to receive an arc of Gemini via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. This also happens to be my very 1st arc & I’m glad that it was Gemini.

Gemini turned out to be a very fast read for me, which is to say kudos to the author for the pacing which was on point. I enjoyed being given a seat at the table with Clara & Hailey; a set of conjoined twins in their last year of high school, and all of their friends. When we first meet Clara & Hailey, the author lets us know that they are polar opposites. Whilst Clara is more subdued, into the sciences, enjoys blending in as much as possible…Hailey is more of an extrovert with pink hair & black eyeliner, a very talented artist with a wanderlust soul. The girls are very much in sync in more ways than one. Although they are only attached by their lower spinal region (each has their own unattached set of legs), the twins share sensations from the torso down. If Clara were to stub her toe, both she & Hailey would feel the pain.

The setting for the most part is the twins high school in a small town where they share a group of girlfriends. Hailey & Claraโ€™s parents are two college professors who left L.A. and relocated to the small town of Bear Pass in an attempt to give the twins a quiet & less complicated life. In the small town of Bear Pass, everyone knows each other & for the most part have gotten used to seeing and being around the twins. One of the best parts of this book had to be the twins support system within their small circle of friends. Juanita (twinsโ€™ BFF) was a Godsend, she never treated the twins any differently & was always a great listener, even when she had issues of her own to deal with. Friends like Juanita are one in a million.

Clara & Hailey are in their last year of high school & with graduation right around the bend, came a lot of anxiety over identity. The girls have an amazing bond and each one wants the other to live the life they always dreamed of yet it all seems impossible to attain. They tackled the topics of dating, college, living independently, the possibility of having the very risky surgical procedure to separate them, and lastly the financial costs. In the background we are introduced to their parents and we learn a bit about their lives before the twins & what led them to move away from a big city. Although the interactions between the twins and their dad were brief, I really enjoyed his parts and could tell that he was more open minded. The twinโ€™s mom on the other hand, had pretty much become a master of all trades. Besides being a professor, she tailors all of Hailey & Claraโ€™s clothing, maintains an active role/presence in their school to make sure they have everything they need and drives them to/from school in a van that accommodates them. Mom is also fixated on watching videos of unsuccessful surgical procedures of conjoined twins in an effort to reassure herself that she made the right decision when she opted to keep them together in their infancies. Their portrayal of concerned parents who have sacrificed a lot for the love & safety of their children felt authentic.

I gave this book a 3.5-star rating only because I struggled with telling the twins voices apart. The book is divided by the twins in alternating chapters & as much as they are described to be polar opposites, I couldnโ€™t differentiate between the two and often found that I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to see whose perspective I was reading from. Since I was already invested in the story & was rooting for the girls, I put in the bit of effort to look back and see whose narrative I was reading but I can see how it may affect others reading experience.

Overall, I really did enjoy this story and the fact that the ending was not made out to be some sort of happy ending but instead felt like  a new beginning for Hailey & Clara. I would recommend Gemini to a friend.

July 2016 Wrap Up & Haulย 

July July!!! Hit me by surprise when I checked my Goodreads to see what I read during the month of July, a total of 8 books/graphic novels. One of the books that I read was actually a Library book, my first in over a decade. Stepping foot into my Library felt like a blast from the past for about 10 seconds before I eyed the empty shelves. Now, my Library is located in Williamsburg Brooklyn which for those who arenโ€™t from NYC, happens to be hipster central nowadays. Itโ€™s walking distance from luxury condos (Iโ€™d probably have to sell a kidney for 1 monthsโ€™ rent), art galleries, tons of coffee shops, andโ€ฆ you get the picture right? I was under the impression that my 1st visit would be met with a beautifully stocked Library & when this was not the case, I had a ton of questions for the Librarian who didnโ€™t look quite too happy to be approached. Turns out, theyโ€™ve gone digital & a request for a book can be made online so that the book may be delivered to your local branch for pick up. This all sounds great since now you can almost guarantee youโ€™ll get the book you are looking forโ€ฆ. yetโ€ฆI still felt some sadness over the bare shelves that during my childhood held stacks & stacks of adventures and stories.
The top floor held some of my fondest memories with my mother (sadly, there arenโ€™t very many). My mother would stay in the poetry section reading love poems and writing them in her notebook while my sister & I stacked up on Goosebumps & Sweet Valley High. Sweet memories that Iโ€™ll cherish while living in this modern world ๐Ÿ˜‰

On to my Wrap Up:



The Fireman by Joe Hill– 3.75 Stars

https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/review-the-fireman-by-joe-hill/

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman– 5 stars
https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/review-illuminae-by-amie-kaufman-and-jay-kristoff/

Chasing River by K.A. Tucker– 5 stars
https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/review-chasing-river-by-k-a-tucker/

Surviving Ice by K.A Tucker– 4 stars
https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/review-surving-ice-burying-water-4-by-k-a-tucker/

Graphic Novels- I went on a Saga spree with NO regrets! I was going to review them in the blog but I was absorbed by the binge SMH so Iโ€™ve linked my mini reviews, more like โ€˜feelsโ€™ & after thoughts lol

Saga Volume 3– 4 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1696157127?book_show_action=false

Saga Volume 4– 5 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1697036687?book_show_action=false

Saga Volume 5– 5 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1350882555?book_show_action=false

Saga Volume 6– 5 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1641774601?book_show_action=false

July 2016 Book Haul:

In the month of July I came across some amazing deals that demanded I suspend my book ban for a bit ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ but I can honestly say that with the exception of The Walled City, I was actively looking out for these titles๐Ÿ˜Š

For those interested in ‘booktography’ hehe…please follow me @Lair_Of_Books (link at the very top of the blog page)

& On a sick day my hubby brought home these two beauties ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Review: The Fireman by Joe Hill

the-fireman
The Fireman by Joe Hill
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 17th 2016
Genre: Sci-Fiction
Page Count: 752 pages
Format: Hardcover (Library)

The Fireman by Joe Hill was more of a 3.75 star read, I’ve included the Goodreads synopsis below as it is lengthy & detailed. I chose not to read the synopsis & allowed myself very little to go on…a virus/spore that manifests itself on a person’s skin through gold/silver flecked spirals resembling tattoos. These marks respond to stress or anger through spontaneous combustion. The world has been divided in two, those that are infected and those who are NOT. The government’s response (or lack thereof) has been to form cremation squads that hunt groups of infected only to burn them to ashes. The logic being: eliminate them before they kill others when they go up in flames. We follow The Fireman and a group of people who more or less have found a way to control the “Dragonscale”

 

We get introduced to Harper, a nurse who loves Mary Poppins and often breaks out in a MP tune when treating her tiny humans in the hospital. Harper is married to Jakob, an aspiring author with a huge sense of self. At first glance their marriage seems like a good one, but quickly takes a nose dive when Jakob believes he has been infected by Harper. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a fictional character quite as much as Jakob. There were many bits of dialogue between Jakob & Harper that made me cringe with disgust. From moments where he bashed women as a whole to times where he treated Harper as if she lacked the mental capacity to be on his level, I wanted him GONE! I did quite enjoy Harper’s character development. Harper is not the same at the end of this book than she was at the very beginning. The events that took place only served to make her stronger, resilient, a leader & the calm within the storm. I also loved that she never lost her optimism & continued to apply Marry Poppins spoon full of sugar remedies into every tough situation LOL!

 

The story tracks Harper’s movements once she meets up with the group of people who have managed to control their Dragonscale. Always being hunted & facing the very real possibility of cremation, there were times I found myself at the edge of my seat. While reading The Fireman, I also kept hoping that something like this is NEVER possible because the world would be a very ugly place when faced with fear of the unknown…hmm…now there’s food for thought…

 

The characters that Harper comes across later on in the story are some of my favorites starting with:
Nick- Possibly 11 0r 13 years of age, he is deaf-mute and has a super secret that makes him even more cool than humanly possible lol

Allie- Nick’s sister 17 years of age, bald by choice & overall badass. Allie leads a group of girls (all bald) who keep the peace

Renee- an older woman described as African-American with silver braids, Renee was the story teller & often times librarian.

Don Lewiston- I’m still trying to picture this man who says ‘Facckin’ every couple of words, in my head lol

The Fireman- Besides the fact that he’s British & seriously funny, I loved how protective he was over Nick & Allie. Also, he’s pretty badass & Allie’s idol…I mean who wouldn’t be impressed by a walking torch? eh?


This is a survival story filled with very interesting characters however, the pacing was slower than I would have preferred. Most of the action really took place during the last 200 out of 752 pages. If you’re not a fan of open ended finales, then this book isn’t for you. It does makes sense though, that in a post apocalyptic world we wouldn’t see the perfect happy ending. This being my 1st Joe Hill, I was entertained & invested in the story enough to want to finish this massive tome. I will probably read his more popular book NOS4A2 in the near future.

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else itโ€™s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodiesโ€”before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now sheโ€™s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakobโ€™s dismay, Harper wants to liveโ€”at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squadsโ€”armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isnโ€™t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighterโ€™s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Firemanโ€™s secrets before her lifeโ€”and that of her unborn childโ€”goes up in smoke.

 

About The Author:

ย 88506ย 

Joseph Hillstrom King (born 1972) is an American writer of fiction and comic books, writing under the pen name of Joe Hill. As of 2016 he has published four novels, a collection of short stories, a six-volume graphic novel series, and more. His most recent novel, The Fireman, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, and his novel Horns was made into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Hill is the the second child of authors Stephen King and Tabitha King. His younger brother Owen King is also a writer. Joe has three children.

Hill chose to use an abbreviated form of his given name (a reference to executed labor leader Joe Hill, for whom he was named) in 1997, out of a desire to succeed based solely on his own merits instead of as the son of Stephen King. After achieving a degree of independent success, Hill publicly confirmed his identity in 2007 after an article the previous year in Variety broke his cover (although online speculation about Hill’s family background had been appearing since 2005).

 

 

Review: Surving Ice (Burying Water #4) by K.A.Tucker

Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4) by K.A. Tucker

Published by: Atria Books

Date of Publication: October 27th 2015

Genres: New Adult

Pages: 352

Format: e-book

Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ivy, a talented tattoo artist who spent the early part of her twenties on the move, is finally looking for a place to call home. She thinks she might have found it in San Francisco, but all that changes when she witnesses a terrible crime. Sheโ€™s ready to pack up her things yet again, when a random encounter with a stranger keeps her in the city, giving her reason to stay after all.

That is, until Ivy discovers that their encounter wasnโ€™t random. Not at allโ€ฆ

When I first was recommended this series, I fell in love with all of the covers and knew that I could NOT wait until I reached this last book in the series. Surviving Ice screams edgy! & our female protagonist is just that and so much more. Ivy: a half Asian-half Spaniard tattoo artist with a sharp tongue, wanderlust spirit, and a no effs given attitude—can now go into my vault of FAVORITE female characters! there aren’t many & she made the cut. Although this is the 4th book in the Burying Water Series, and there are some Easter eggs from the previous books, the plot itself reads like a stand-alone. We get some of our beloved characters pop into this story but Ivy & Sebastianโ€™s story is their own.
Ivyโ€™s character was refreshing to read about, she has very tall walls built around her and not many people in her circle. She prefers to live life on the edge with nothing holding her back from getting up and moving to another country. I loved that Ivy had no inhibitions holding her back, she is confident in her tattoo artist skills as well as her body. When we meet her, she has just returned from Ireland (setting of book 3) & was once again working at her uncle Nedโ€™s tattoo parlor the Black Rabbit. Uncle Ned who idolized Willie Nelson & therefore embodied his style, became an instant favorite. Ned fully accepted Ivy (unlike her parents) & together they ran the most sought out tattoo parlor. Ivy however, did not know that Uncle Ned had found himself in a bit of a bind due to gambling. The events that take place lead to Ivy meeting Sebastian who has been given a target & an assignmentโ€ฆIvy.

When we meet Sebastian, we get a bit of his backstory in the Navy Seals & how he came to work for an independent government contractor. Sebastian deals with some PTSD and tends to be a loner who has no care for commitment, instead he pays for easy sex. When his military friend/contractor calls his burner phone, itโ€™s always for a new assignment. Sebastian is the best as what he does, eliminating threats to our government by any means necessary. When he receives the file on Ivy, he is fully prepared to undertake this taskโ€ฆ.

The only reason I docked a star is because unlike the previous books in this series, the supporting cast were just OK (with the exception of Ned of course lol). Iโ€™ve been spoiled by K.A. Tuckerโ€™s ability to deliver a stellar supporting cast who I crave to hear more from. I guess with this being the last book in the installment, maybe she wasnโ€™t trying to lead us on by giving us any interesting side characters lol. Overall, I LOVE this series & would recommend it as a starting point for anyone interested in reading New Adult.

Does anyone have any New Adult recommendations? Iโ€™m looking for a tried and true author. Plenty have recommended COHO & I will read one of her books soon *I promise* lol but Iโ€™d like to have a variety to choose from ๐Ÿ˜‰

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Review: Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

Chasing River.jpg

Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

Published by: Atria Books

Date of Publication: July 7th 2015

Genres: New Adult

Pages: 336

Format: e-book

Rating:โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn’t let her die, but he also couldn’t risk being identified at the sceneโ€”so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his familyโ€™s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move.

Maybe it’s because he saved her life, or maybe it’s because he’s completely different from everything she’s left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isnโ€™t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.

And River isn’t the kind of guy she’d want to catch.

 

Having loved the previous two books in this New Adult series, I’m not sure why I went into this one with some sort of skepticism. I thought that I couldn’t love a new couple more than I already do Jesse/Alex & Rain/Luke…Once again K.A. Tucker has managed to suck me in with her deeply layered characters, beautiful settings, and crazy story telling. I ADORE Amber & River to pieces!!!! This time we were transported to beautiful Ireland & given a good amount of historical background on the events that lead to the formation of the IRA. Up until this book, I only knew of the great famine in Ireland but not much more. It’s only a plus when I come away with knowledge of actual historical events from a book that isn’t non-Fiction. We also get to see some of our favorite characters from Burying Water (Burying Water#1)ย  make an appearance in this book in K.A. Tucker fashion. Rich with Irish history, obstacles to overcome, violence, and amazing characters, this story of 2 lovers from opposite sides of the world was a smash hit in my book!


ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย ย  ย 

ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย ย ย  ย  ****SPOILERS****

I totally did NOT see myself liking Amber at all in this book since I did NOT enjoy her parts in Burying Water. Amber was very judgmental & was comfortable being a part of the “mean girls” clique during her High School days. As an adult, she never ventured outside of her small town nor did she attempt to look outside the box. There were rules & Amber followed them to the tee. My biggest issue with Amber was how harsh she was on her brother Jesse in Burying Water, it was as if she chucked him off to be a low life because of some mistakes he had made as a teenager (given Jesse was a magnet for shit but still lol). I LOVED seeing Amber step away from her small town in Oregon & travel to Ireland. Her family doubted she would ever leave her comfort zone & it was a major step for her. Amber meeting River may not have been in the most romantic of ways (I won’t give that away), but from the minute he entered her life, all her inhibitions were thrown out the window. Now this is an Amber that I could be friends with. From her unlikely friendship with the tattoo artist Ivy to falling in love with River whose family history was deeply entrenched in the IRA of before & current day…she kept surprising me. I loved the travel bucket list she created with Alex the night they were a bit tipsy on wine & the fact that River managed to get his hands on it & continued to tease her about it. Actually, being that I got to know her as a rule follower, I was a bit embarrassed for her every time I thought about #1 on her list…Have a torrid affair with a foreigner, Country:TBD <—BWAHAHAHA! I would’ve DIED if it were me & the hottie I’m interested in, found my list. Then again I was kind of smirking BECAUSE for a change, she was the one chasing the guy and putting in some work (he really did make her work for it though lol). This book also stirred up so much hope in me for these two, I wanted so badly for everything to work out but it seemed that all odds were against them. There were definitely some casualties along the way…I cried when Rowen’s leg had to be amputated & cursed Aengus all throughout for putting Ma & Da through it. I am currently jumping right into the last book in this series Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4). I’m excited to get Ivy’s story & even more eager to see if there’s a glimpse of Amber & River because it’s K.A. Tucker & I love all of her characters! it always feels like a treat when we hear about one of the couples or characters from the previous books.

Beauty & The Beast Book Tag

GASPPSSSS! I was tagged by the lovely Amanda @Cover2CoverMom for the Beauty & The Beast Book Tag created by Kirsty@Kirsty and the Cat Read.  I ADORE all things Beauty & The Beast, as Iโ€™m sure a ton of my fellow book lovers do. Thank you Amanda for tagging me, the questions have my wheels turning lol. You can read the original tag here โ†’ Kirsty and the Cat Read: Beauty & The Beast Book Tag.

Rules:

ยป Thank the person who tagged you

ยป Mention the creator โ†’ Kirsty @Kirsty and the Cat Read

ยป Match a book to each of the songs/characters below

ยป Tag as many people as you like

 

โ€œTale As Old As Timeโ€ โ€“ A popular theme, trope or setting you will never get bored of reading.

Beauty &amp; The Beast

Iโ€™ve been unknowingly attracted to the trope commonly found in YA Fantasy where we get our heroine (itโ€™s usually a female nowadays, move over fellas) who has never fought a day in her life yet by the middle of the book has become a pro at kicking ass & taking names. I LIVE for this trope! Some of my favorites are:

Celeana Sardothien from the Throne Of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre from the A Court of Thorns & Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

Karou from the Daughter Of Smoke & Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor

Vin from The Final Empire (Mistborn) by Brandon Sanderson

 

Belle โ€“ A book you bought for itโ€™s beautiful cover thatโ€™s just as beautiful inside too

Belle

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, This book is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Filled with Magical Realism, a story of love & loss through 3  generations of women.

the-strange-and-beautiful-sorrows-of-ava-lavender-leslye-walton

 

Beast โ€“ A book you didnโ€™t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you

beast1

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness was not what I expected at all in a very good way! the cover alone on this book scared the beejesus out of me but I’m so happy to have listened to my bestie & picked it up. This book is BEAUTIFUL & tells a story I’m sure we can all relate to.

monster-calls

 

Gaston โ€“ A book everyone loves that you donโ€™t

gaston1

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas Although I love this series as a whole, my love for this series didn’t start until Crown Of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2). The reason being that I found Celeana to be extremely naive & overall just immature but only a Queen like SJM can take character development to another level like she did in this series. Very happy I decided to stay with this one.

Throne of glass

Lefou โ€“ A loyal sidekick you canโ€™t help but love more than their counter part.

lefou1

This honor can only be bestowed upon Iko the Droid from Cinder (The Lunar Chronciles #1) by Marissa Meyer. I enjoyed Iko way more than Cinder & only grew to love her more as the series progressed. Can’t wait to see her in the upcoming graphic novels ๐Ÿ™‚

Cinder-by-Marissa-MeyerIko_character_sketch_by_Douglas_Wolgate

Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumier & Cogsworth โ€“ A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable

pottscogslumchip

Every Last Word by Tamera Ireland Stone THIS BOOK!!!! every once in a while you come across a book you never knew you needed, Every Last Word was that book for me. This book tells the story of a girl struggling with the everyday issues of a high-schooler, only she’s doing so with OCD. Samantha McAllister is the popular girl in school with a clique of “Mean Girls” however, none of these girls knows that she battles OCD daily. The author Tamera Ireland Stone extensively researched OCD & it showed in this book. As a person who manages OCD on a lesser scale, this book will always be close to my heart.

everylastword-tamarairelandstone__span

โ€œSomething Thereโ€ โ€“ A book or a series that you werenโ€™t into at first but picked up towards the end.

someting-there

The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman This trilogy was VERY slow…I considered DNF’ing it at some point during the first book but my love for all things resembling Narnia really pushed me to stay put. Again, very glad that I did because although slow at first, it did pick up by the end of book one & continued for the remainder of the trilogy. This is a very dark read, the characters are broody & unlovable (lol), the pacing can be slow but the pay off was huge ๐Ÿ˜‰

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โ€œBe Our Guestโ€ โ€“ A fictional character youโ€™d love to have over for dinner

be-our-guest

Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling…That would make for an interesting & quirky dinner that I would be all for!

Luna-Lovegood-Wallpaper-luna-lovegood-25518137-1024-768

Iโ€™d like to tag the following bloggers to complete this book tag:

Gretchen @Chicnerdreads

Melissa@Booknerdmomo

Demi@Bookstraveller

Amanda@Hangingwithamanda

Morissa@Morissareads

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay kristoff

Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Date of Publication: October 20th 2015

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Pages: 599

Format: Hardcover (I own)

Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

 So I just realized how descriptive the Goodreads synopsis really is LOL. I never read it until now but it pretty much sums it up all right, so instead Iโ€™ll talk about some of the things I loved about Illuminae (GR Synopsis @ the end of review).

* The fact that this book starts off with a break up scene. Could you honestly picture yourself breaking up with your boo one second & the next being caught up in a war between 2 major corporations over your small (yet oh so resourceful) planet? Usually, well at least in my experience, when you break up with someone itโ€™s definitely to put some space & distance between you and said individual. Kady & Ezra however, found themselves running for their livesโ€ฆ Perspective plays a major role in how these two carry on afterwards.

* The fact that Kady is neither a damsel in distress nor a fighter experienced in hand-to-hand combat or even swordplay lol. No, Kady is a computer whiz who is in her element when handling 0โ€™s & 1โ€™s. After the attack on Kerenza (their planet) the people of Kerenza were shuttled to 3 different aircrafts (spaceships): The Alexander, Copernicus, or the Hypathia. Each ship has its strengths, with Alexander basically being their leader. Depending on your skillset, you would be assigned jobs on your designated spaceship. Kady had access to computer systems & she used this to set forth and uncover the truth behind the attack on Kerenza.

* The dialogue. The entire book is formatted in a series of e-mails, Briefs, and chats. Through these quick bursts in communication you get to familiarize yourself with the characters aboard these ships. In a time where nothing is certain, people are being fed lies, and a virus has broken loose, our characters are much in touch with their sense of humor. I had many laugh out loud moments at some of the crudest jokes between Ezra & his boys which we can safely compare to military boys lol. Kady is sarcastic & just an overall kickass female protagonist. The Lisbeth Salander (who I loved, so yay!) Of YA without the whole Emo thing Lisbeth had going on lol.

*AIDAN aka the Artificial Intelligence. I think I hated him for half of the book but then came to like him during the second half. It was definitely interesting reading his thought process, which sometimes came off as ramblings.

*Zhang. I really liked Zhang & his chats (the equivalent of IMโ€™s) with Kady & how well they worked together. Their conversations were very entertaining even when it was strictly hacking that they were doing.

* The representation of different ethnic backgrounds & LGBTQ. I loved the diversity in this book & was thankful because it was a realistic depiction of a ship carrying thousands of human beings.

* Last but never least, the women in command positions. There were a few actually, and I appreciated the presence of women in a military style environment, not being pushed into lesser roles.

I could seriously talk about this book for hours but It turns out Iโ€™m not the last human being on this planet to not have read this book lol. I tried to keep all spoilers out for those who plan on reading Illuminae before this fallโ€™s release of Gemina. Now that day, I will make sure to use a sick day on *coughs into the future*

Goodreads Synopsis:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing sheโ€™d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet thatโ€™s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezraโ€”who are barely even talking to each otherโ€”are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say whatโ€™s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documentsโ€”including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and moreโ€”Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.