{Update} #COYER SUMMER VACATION READING CHALLENGE

 

13239911_10209388036074832_6052138944736816626_nWhat the heck is COYER you ask? COYER is a reading challenge hosted by Fantasy is More Fun, Because Reading & Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!


I really meant to do these updates on like a weekly basis but well…life happened. I’ve been doing pretty great with the reading aspect and not so much with getting the reviews up. I’m going to work on catching up on my reviews this weekend. So be prepared for a crap ton of those. Here is my progress so far.

Books Read: 11

Reviews Posted: 3

COYER IG Photo Challenge Pics: 3

 


 

That’s my #COYER update for the week. Are you participating in #COYER? How are you doing with the challenge? Let me know in the comments! If you have an update post as well leave your linky in the comments so I can come visit.

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by

{Book Review} How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Book Review} How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole CozzoHow to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo
Published by Swoon Reads on August 2nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon/Buy on B&N
Goodreads
four-stars

After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance.
The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That's all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl's suicide. Now Nikki's been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can't look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates - almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it's like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance... and everyone deserves to be loved.

My Thoughts:

How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo is contemporary young adult fiction at its best. Cozzo’s writing is beautiful and her characters are engaging. This coming-of-age story pretty much gave me all the FEELS. Nikki Baylor used to be part of the popular group at her former school until she found herself caught in the middle of an incident involving cyber bullying. Completely shunned by her so called friends and even her family, Nikki struggles to find her place in her new school. While doing community service at a rehabilitation center Nikki meets Pax, a wheelchair rugby player. Piece by piece Nikki’s story is revealed and the outlook for the new start Nikki is trying to get seems to get dimmer and dimmer.

I was completely surprised by how much I connected with Nikki. When I read the summary I was certain I was not going to like her at all. I admit, I totally judged her based on what she was accused of doing. As things were disclosed about what led to the incident Nikki found herself involved in, I found myself empathizing with her. Nikki is desperate for a chance to redeem herself, especially with her family. I found their handling of the situation a bit extreme. It didn’t seem like they were really interested in hearing Nikki’s side of things.

The relationship between Nikki and Pax is sincere and heartwarming. They start off by building an unlikely friendship, given the circumstances, and things develop from there. Together they are both sweet and fun. Things are not completely perfect though, both Nikki and Pax have their own issues to resolve which creates some conflict between the two. I think this made their relationship more natural and authentic.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Cozzo’s writing is emotional and had my FEELS pretty much all over the place. This was my first experience with Cozzo’s work and I look forward to reading more by this author in the future. If you are looking for a great YA contemporary with a lot of depth, then you want to give this one a try.

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four-stars
The Drowning House by

{Book Review} The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black

{Book Review} The Drowning House by Elizabeth BlackThe Drowning House by Elizabeth Black
on January 15th 2013
Genres: Gothic, Mystery, Suspense/Thriller
Pages: 268
Format: Hardback
Buy on Amazon/Buy on B&N
Goodreads
two-stars


A gripping suspense story about a woman who returns to Galveston, Texas after a personal tragedy and is irresistibly drawn into the insular world she’s struggled to leave.
Photographer Clare Porterfield's once-happy marriage is coming apart, unraveling under the strain of a family tragedy. When she receives an invitation to direct an exhibition in her hometown of Galveston, Texas, she jumps at the chance to escape her grief and reconnect with the island she hasn't seen for ten years. There Clare will have the time and space to search for answers about her troubled past and her family's complicated relationship with the wealthy and influential Carraday family. 
Soon she finds herself drawn into a century-old mystery involving Stella Carraday. Local legend has it that Stella drowned in her family's house during the Great Hurricane of 1900, hanged by her long hair from the drawing room chandelier. Could Stella have been saved? What is the true nature of Clare's family's involvement? The questions grow like the wildflower vines that climb up the walls and fences of the island. And the closer Clare gets to the answers, the darker and more disturbing the truth becomes.
Steeped in the rich local history of Galveston, The Drowning House portrays two families, inextricably linked by tragedy and time.
"The Drowning House marks the emergence of an impressive new literary voice. Elizabeth Black's suspenseful inquiry into dark family secrets is enriched by a remarkable succession of images, often minutely observed, that bring characters, setting, and story sharply into focus." —John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

My Thoughts:

The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black is a quiet little novel that is filled with layers of intrigue. It’s about dysfunctional families and relationships. This book is being blurbed as a suspense story, I would call it more of a mystery with literary elements. Black’s writing in lyrical and compelling. Clare’s narrative voice is distinctive and poignant.

Clare is a photographer, who’s marriage is falling apart after a personal tragedy. Logically this means she should run away from her problems and go back home, right? That’s exactly what she does after she receives an invitation to work in her hometown of Galveston, Texas. Upon her return, Clare finds herself immersed in a tangled web of lies and family drama.

I did not find Clare to be a very likable character. I felt sorry for her but found some of her behavior immature and at times bordering on stalkerish. Even though I did not connect with Clare as a character, I found her narrative voice to be very clear and tangible.

The plot had a few story lines that felt underdeveloped. There is so much potential for this book to be fantastic if it had a bit more editing. The pacing was a bit choppy and really dragged in some places.

Overall, this was an okay read. I liked it but I did not love it. The ending felt a bit rushed and many questions are left unanswered. Black’s writing is beautiful and the descriptions of the Galveston were amazing. I just wish she had spent more time on the characters and the actual plot line.

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two-stars

July Wrap – uP / August TBR

Monthly Wrap Up

I know I’m late getting this up. Sorry about that but the end of July and beginning of August were a bit nuts for me. I went on my cruise and then had family visiting for the beginning of August. I have quite a bit to share so let’s just get started.

My July Favorites:

The Last Bookstore – I visited this indie book shop the first night I stayed in L.A. and it was amazing. Here are some photos from that night.

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I was a very happy book nerd.

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Here are the books I bought from The Last Bookstore:

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If you are ever in the Los Angeles area I highly recommend you check this book store out.

My other favorite thing about July was the cruise itself. I won’t post all the pictures and videos since I already have them up on my Instagram. You can check them out there if you want to look at them. I will post a couple group photos here that I did not put up on IG.

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I didn’t really stalk any blogs or have a favorite song in July. I was either preparing for my trip or traveling for the most part.

What happened on the blog:

Books I Read:

I read a total of 7 books in July. Out of all the books I read my favorite was License to Quill by Jacopo della Quercia. It was amazing and you just need to go read it. I rated it a 5 out of 5 stars! The review will be going up sometime this weekend.

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My very ambitious August TBR. As you can see they are mostly library books.

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Well that’s the wrap up for July and my TBR for August. Just a quick note I’m also participating in #VEDA on my booktube channel. It’s a challenge to vlog every day in August. I’m having fun with it but I have to admit I’m starting to feel a bit burned out. I’m doing my best to stick with it. If you’d like to check it out you can find my VEDA playlist below.

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{The Lunar Chronicles Experience} Cinder by Marissa Meyer

{The Lunar Chronicles Experience} Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 3rd 2012
Genres: Retellings, Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 390
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon/Buy on B&N
Goodreads
five-stars

Since there are so many specific things I’d like to discuss about Cinder, I thought I’d do a new feature called the “Reader Experience/Book Discussion” here on the blog. I will label these as the name of the series/book with Experience tagged on the end. If you have not read the books then I would not recommend reading the posts as they will contain spoilers. Consider that your SPOILER ALERT and proceed with caution.

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer is more than just a fairy tale retelling. Meyer uses this futuristic take on the Cinderella story to bring to light some controversial social issues like abuse of power/corruption of individuals in roles of authority, and racism/discrimination. There is also the predominant question of what it means to be human, that is threaded throughout the story.

The topic of abuse of power/corruption of individuals in authority roles is a crucial discussion point given the tensions going on in the political world right now, especially in the U.S. Some examples of this can be found in characters like Adri, Dr. Erland, and Queen Levana. Adri, Cinder’s legal guardian, is cruel and abusive (both physically and verbally) towards Cinder. Adri consistently tells Cinder that she is useless and unwanted. Adri goes as far as escalating the abuse to a physical level when she hits Cinder. As hateful as Adri is, Dr. Erland’s disregard for life in pursuit of his own personal agenda is worse. Dr. Erland establishes the Cyborg Draft program with the lie of wanting to find a cure for the plague. Many cyborgs died as a result of his experiments and Dr. Erland shows no indication of remorse for the lives lost in his labs. Then there is Queen Levana, the Lunar villainess. Levana is determined to rule earth just as she rules Luna and she will do everything in her power to get what she wants. She excels at manipulation and uses her powers on the citizens of New Beijing to instill fear. She plants a spy in the form of an ambassador to keep track of Prince Kai. Levana also threatens to go to war with Prince Kai if he does not agree to marry her. It is safe to say that words/terms like ethical and moral principles are not in Levana’s vocabulary.

As important as the discussion of corruption is given the social climate we live in today, Meyer takes things further by emphasizing racism and discrimination over and over again. The individuals that are subject to racism and discrimination in New Beijing are the Lunars and Cyborgs. Lunars are discriminated against because they are a different race. They are feared because of their differences from the people on earth (i.e. they have powers). Fearing a group of people because they are different. Sound familiar? We see that in the modern world with how people are discriminated against due to religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. The cyborgs are a mix between human and machine. The attitude toward cyborgs is that because they have these mechanical implants they are not entirely human. Therefore, they are second class citizens and should have less rights. This attitude is similar to how society treated slaves in early colonial times. Slaves were treated as property and did not have equal rights. This is a direct parallel to how Cinder is treated. She has no rights even to her own body parts. Every single part of her belongs to her legal guardian. She has no access to her income, she can even be sold into the Cyborg Draft program to become a test subject against her own will.  Let’s take it this second-class citizen thing a bit further. For instance, take Dr. Erland’s complete disregard for the cyborg lives that were lost in his experiments. The society in New Beijing overall accepts this and there is no outcry from the people to stop this inhumane indifference to the loss of life. Why you ask? Because, they do not see cyborgs as equals. There is no unity between the citizens of New Beijing and the cyborgs that live within their society. No unity. Think about that and think about the social climate we live in today here in the U.S. Scary right?

So…all that said let’s talk about the overall theme/question presented in this story. What does it mean to be human? How do you define it? According to the dictionary the definition of human is “susceptible to or representative of the sympathies and frailties of human nature” or “having human form or attributes.” Does this not mean that cyborgs are in fact human? They have human form and/or attributes do they not? Let’s take Cinder for example, does she not express the sympathies and frailties of human nature? She has feelings and thinks for herself. She has a human form. Seems to me that she is human by definition. Wouldn’t you agree? Yet, in the society of New Beijing she is treated as less. They liken her to a robot and she is treated as such, but how is she any different than say a soldier that was injured in the line of duty and has to have a prosthetic leg. At what point does a person lose their humanity because they have artificial limbs? There’s definitely some food for thought there.

Cinder obviously left me with many deeper thoughts after reading it than I was prepared for by a Cinderella retelling. I think to just do a surface read of this novel is an injustice. There are so many pertinent topics that Meyer touches on that given our current social climate are incredibly important discussion points. After my initial reading I searched through the internets and tried to find discussions or reviews of the book that highlighted these points. Sadly the majority of the reviews I read of Cinder were all about how dreamy Kai was and how much of a bad ass Cinder turned out to be in the end. I still don’t get the appeal of Kai, but if you want to read my thoughts on that you can check out my Cinder book review.

So let’s discuss. What thoughts do you have on the topics/themes that are found in Cinder? Do you agree/disagree? I’m dying to talk about this! Okay not really dying but you know what I mean. Let’s chat in the comments section.

Stay book nerdy & Happy reading!

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five-stars

WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW62

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments section as well. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Fatal Affair by Marie Force
  2. “Speak of the devil. He came into the room, and his amiable expression instantly hardened when he saw that Hill had arrived. Nick put his arm around her and kissed her temple. Not for the first time, she was grateful he didn’t lift his leg and pee on her to mark his territory in front of the agent.”
  3. I do live in this world since this book is set in modern day.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW61

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments section as well. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
  2. “You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it. Books will never be just a business to you.”
  3. No, I don’t think I’d like to live in this world. Books and the access people have to them is controlled by the Great Library. I want to read all the books! Not just the ones someone else has decided I should read.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{Book Review} The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

{Book Review} The House on Mango Street by Sandra CisnerosThe House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Published by Vintage on April 3rd 2009
Genres: Literary Fiction
Pages: 110
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon/Buy on B&N
Goodreads
five-stars

Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.
Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.

My Thoughts:

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is one of those quiet books that takes you completely by surprise. Esperanza Cordero is a Mexican-American girl who lives in poverty. She tells her story of growing up in the Mexican quarter of Chicago in a series of vignettes. Cisneros writing is absolutely beautiful, lyrical, authentic, and haunting. Esperanza’s words will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

Esperanza dreams of someday living in a beautiful home away from the poor run down neighborhoods she has lived in growing up. Despite how often she has seen how hard life is for those around her as well as herself, she still has hope. This is very fitting since her name in Spanish means hope. This book reads like a Esperanza’s journal. She shares stories of the colorful characters that live in her neighborhood, even the dangerous ones.

At first glance her words are misleading in their simplicity. Looking further into her stories you will see past the humor, imagery, poetic rhythm and realize this goes much deeper than just a girl talking about how she wishes for more than what she was dealt. Through Esperanza’s narrative Cisneros touches on many pertinent challenges that young women have to overcome, especially those of the Mexican-American community.

“Everything is holding its breath inside of me. Everything is waiting to explode like Christmas. I want to be new and shiny.”

I fell in love with this book. It made me laugh and cry because I could relate to so many things Esperanza goes through growing up. It is one of those books that you read through it and love it for it’s humor and beautiful writing. Then you go back and read it again and again because of it’s depth. Cisneros brings to light so many ugly things that young girls growing up in the Mexican-American community have to overcome. Social issues like racism from outsiders and dangers within their own community like domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape. Despite all of this there is still a feeling of hope for a better life. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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five-stars
And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by

{Book Review} And I Darken by Kiersten White

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Book Review} And I Darken by Kiersten WhiteAnd I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White
Published by Delacorte Press on June 28th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical
Pages: 484
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon/Buy on B&N
Goodreads
two-half-stars

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.
Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.
But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My Thoughts:

And I Darken by Kiersten White is one of those books that when you hear the premise
you’re like “Wow this is really cool!” and then well you read it. This book was
pitched as the main character being the female version of Vlad the Impaler. A
gender-swap of a historical figure, who in my opinion is utterly fascinating in a
violent and morbid way. I guess you could say my expectations were set pretty damn
high after that, and I wish I could say this book delivered. I really wanted to
love it, and there were some parts I really enjoyed. However, for the most part
this book was a snooze-fest.

This historical fiction is steeped in political intrigue. I would say the majority
of this book was about navigating the complicated social aspects of politics and
trying not to be stabbed or have your throat slit. Everyone is pretty much out to
get everyone in this book. Survival has just as much to do with your alliances as
well as how well you play your part in the grand scheme of things. Which okay that
sounds interesting right? Except in this case, it makes for an extremely slow
moving plot from the beginning to about 65% into the book.

The detail in this book was a bit overwhelming. I literally felt like someone was
trying to do a mass download to my brain while reading this. I love me some world
building, but this was too much. It would overcome the story at times because of
the amount of information dumping.

Another issue I had was the love triangle in this book. Love triangles are a pet
peeve of mine as a reader. They drive me nuts. This one has unrequited love in
spades. No one expresses how they feel and there is so much angst. I’m talking
angst on steroids especially on Lada’s part.

So what parts did I like? That ending…wow. Also,I really enjoyed the characters.
They are manipulative and scheming liars. The whole lot of them, especially Lada.
She is just downright cruel, which I found entertaining for the most part. If you
are looking for characters that you will love to hate then you will definitely find
them in this book. As much as I found Lada entertaining to read, she was not my
favorite. My favorite character in this book is Radu. He has the unfortunate luck
of being Lada’s baby brother. He grows up being abused, neglected, and mocked by
his family. Most of the neglect and “tough love” is provided by Lada who thinks
Radu is too soft to survive on his own. Radu is kind, loving, gentle, intelligent,
and loyal. He shows the most growth from all the characters. He starts out as this
weak little boy and grows into a young man that navigates the politics of higher
society well.

Overall, And I Darken was an okay read. I admit was fairly disappointed by the
first 65% of the book. That ending though…wow. If only the rest of the book was
like that ending then I would have loved it. I have so many issues with this book,
mainly that it just did not catch my interest. I ended up rating this a 2.5 stars
out of 5. If you like historical fiction that is steeped in political intrigue then
this might be the book for you. Unfortunately this book just was not for me and I
will not be continuing on with the series.

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two-half-stars

WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW60

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments as well.. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien De Castell
  2. “Gods, man, don’t you start now,’ I said softly. ‘We’re going to get a terrible reputation if we just keep travelling across the countryside crying all the time.”
  3. I don’t know yet since I just started it.

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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June WRAP – UP / July TBR

Monthly Wrap Up

I can’t believe we are halfway through the year already. Holy crap it is going fast! Sorry this is late going up by the way. I’ve been busy organizing my new bookshelves and my closet. Also, I’ve been preparing things for my trip coming up on July 18th. I’m going on a cruise! I’m super excited since I’ve never been on a cruise before. I’ll be MIA on my social media during this time (7/18 -7/24) since I’ll be out of WiFi and cell service range. I do have some posts scheduled to go up while I’m gone and I’ll respond to comments when I return. Alrighty let’s get on with the wrap-up!

My November Obsession:

I stumbled onto this show on my Netflix feed. Have you seen it? Holy shit it is so good. I’m only on season 2 so far and will definitely continue with the series. If you like crime/detective dramas then you need to check it out!

Blogs I Stalked:

I love visiting and reading other blogs/booktube channels. I don’t often comment. I usually just like the post or share it on twitter if I feel the need to share it. I know, I know I’m working on the commenting. I really am, maybe you noticed me sneaking in a comment here and there. I’m really trying to show more love and support to the blogs/booktube channels I follow. I know how much work goes into this and how sometimes it feels like you’re just chatting at yourself when no one responds. If you haven’t already checked these blogs/booktube channels out then I highly recommend you do!  These blogs/booktube channels are the ones I visited the most this month:

Blogs:

Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

Books and Lesser Evils

BookTube Channels:

The Restricted Section

Stripped Covered Lit

Most Played Song:

What happened on the blog:

Books I Hauled:

Books I Read in June:

I finished 6 books in June. Here they are in order of rating.

5 Stars:

4 Stars:

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3 Stars:

July TBR:

I did a TBR for the summer instead of a monthly TBR just because I have such a busy summer planned. I have the cruise and family visiting so things are gonna be a bit crazy. I am also participating in COYER so I will be reading books for that summer reading challenge. Here is my TBR for the summer and I’ll be reading these in no particular order.

I have lots of things planned for the IART blog and BookTube channel for the month of July. There will be reviews, yet another haul because apparently I can’t stick to the no buying rule, giveaways and some new discussion posts. If you want to stay up to date and get notifications when I put up new videos or blog posts be sure to subscribe to both the blog and BookTube channel. I’m off for now. Take care my friends!

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW59

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog in the comments down below. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  2. “I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
    ‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
    She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.”
  3. No, I don’t think I would want to live on Mars. Arizona is hot enough for me thank you!

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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{Book Review} Cinder by Marissa Meyer (No Spoilers)

{Book Review} Cinder by Marissa Meyer (No Spoilers)Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 3rd 2012
Genres: Retellings, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 390
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon/Buy on B&N
Goodreads
five-stars

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I have been going back and forth on how to do this review because there are so many things I want to talk about that are specific and could contain spoilers. I’ve decided to split this up into two parts. This will be my general review of the book and I will also do a “Reader Experience/Book Discussion” on The Lunar Chronicles series as I read it. If you have not read the series then you may want to avoid that post as it will contain spoilers. Now, on with my spoiler free review!

My Thoughts:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer is a cleverly written fairy tale retelling with a twist. This story is a cross between Terminator and Star Wars with a mash up of different characters from several different fairy tales. Meyer’s take on this classic fairy tale is set in a futuristic world in a city called New Beijing that is filled with humans, androids, and cyborgs. The streets and homes in this city are over crowded and bursting with life. However, things are not all happily-ever-after in this world. There is a plague that is quickly spreading through out the city and with no cure in reach people are dying, including the emperor. If that isn’t enough to deal with there is also the evil Lunar queen that is watching and waiting to make her move to take the throne.

Our main character, Cinder, is a gifted mechanic and cyborg. She is considered less than human by the society she lives in because she is a cyborg. She has no rights, or property and she is at the mercy of her legal guardian, Adri.  It took me about half way through the book before I started to connect with Cinder. I honestly did not feel invested in her story at first because her narrative seemed so monotone to me. In the beginning, Cinder comes across as very accepting of her life and how she is treated. She’s complaint with the rules and restrictions that are set by Adri and does her best to make the best out of what little freedom she is allowed. Cinder begins to question things as the story progresses and eventually fights back. Which of course is the point where things got interesting.

I wasn’t a fan of the “prince charming” in this story. I don’t get the big deal about Kai to be honest. His character is very one-dimensional and under developed in my opinion. Which is probably why I don’t get what the swoon factor was when it came to him. I would have liked to see more of his back story, which I’m really hoping will be revealed in the rest of the series.

I don’t understand the hype around the romance in this book. The two characters involved do not have a lot of interaction with each other. The chemistry is lack luster, so I would say at this point they are more acquaintances than friends, and no where near being romantic interests. I want build up dammit! That’s the best part of a romantic story line.

I love that this is set in a futuristic world. The mix of the ancient Asian culture with the sleek modern technology was fascinating. There is even a colony of people that live on the moon. PEOPLE LIVING ON THE MOON!!!!!!! How freaking cool is that? I’m not sure I’d necessarily want to live in this world because well deadly plague and all, but wow the world in this book is so unique and imaginative. I also like that Meyer doesn’t info dump when she does her world building. She effortlessly weaves the description of her world into her plot. Just enough detail is given to the reader to be able to imagine a world where androids, hover vehicles, and net screens exist amid ancient Asian culture.

Let’s take a minute to talk diversity since that’s all I ever hear about on blogs and BookTube these days. People crying out “We need Diversity!” Well..this book is overflowing with it! I love that the characters in this book are a complete mix of races. The citizens of New Beijing are Asian. There are the Lunars which are the people that colonized the moon. I don’t remember seeing an exact description of Cinder, but as I was reading I pictured her as Asian as well. The president of the Americas is President Vargas, a Latino man. Pretty cool in my opinion, I’m hoping to see this in the following books as well.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Meyer’s take on the Cinderella fairy tale. It’s imaginative and unique. I’m hoping I get more back story on the characters like Cinder, Kai, Dr. Erland, and Queen Levana as the series progresses. Meyer’s writing style is easy to read and the world building is just…WOW. There were parts of the plot that moved a bit slow for me, but for the most part this was a fun and entertaining read. I would recommend this to readers that enjoy fairy tale retellings, science fiction, or anyone looking for a story with diverse characters in it.

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five-stars

WHAT ARE YOU READING WEDNESDAYS #WAYRW58

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesdays #WAYRW is a weekly feature here on It’s A Reading Thing. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post in the comments as well. You can grab the image above or create your own, just please make sure you link back to IART as the host for this meme.

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

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  1. Don’t Tempt Me by Lori Foster
  2. “After being mostly alone for so long, she suddenly felt like she was part of something bigger. It was a little scary, and a whole lot amazing.”
  3. It’s set in modern day so I already live in it. I would like to move into the house next to Jason’s though…can we say eye candy?!! haha

How about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments <3

Stay book nerdy & happy reading!

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Celebrate the release of Gina Danna’s THE WICKED NORTH

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From USA Today bestselling author, Gina Danna, comes a historical romance full of deceit, betrayal and passion that ignite the flames of love between two lovers on opposite sides of a war.

 Giveaway:

1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Giftcard & 3 winners will receive an ecopy of choice from Gina’s backlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About The Wicked North:

Bound by duty and honor to wear the Union blue, a Southern-born West Point officer fights his own desires and the need to protect the woman he abandoned, he disobeys his orders to find her, as the Army of the Potomac marches toward her family’s home near Richmond.

She has the guts and willpower to protect her home from the hated Yankee aggressors, but when that traitor to the South appears at her door, she’s torn between wanting to shoot him and to be held in his arms again. Can she forgive him for their past indiscretion or does she turn him in to be executed, a traitor to both sides?

In the summer of 1862, her family’s plantation becomes the personal battle ground between them as deceit, betrayal and passion ignite the flames of love and hate that burn brighter than the roar of the guns and rivers of blood surrounding them.

Available at: Amazon

Exclusive Excerpt:

Rose Hill Plantation, Silvers’ residence. Parlor game of the 19th century called “Kissing the Corners” – a kissing game where a gentleman was stationed in each corner of the room and the ladies went to get a kiss. It was a ‘forfeit’ to redeem for losing in an earlier game. Emma, our heroine, finds herself faced with kissing Jack, the man she so wanted to kiss but this was her first time kissing. Would he kiss her or not?

Next was Jack. She walked to his corner, gazing into his glowing emerald eyes.

“Emma,” he whispered.

She heard voices behind her. The others had already finished. She was the last. Turning her head slightly, she looked for Caroline. She caught a glimpse of her sister in her buttercup yellow dress, talking to Abigail, Charles and the twins.

“I’m right here, Emma,” Jack said, drawing her attention back to him.

He was too handsome. She wanted to both kiss him and avoid him. A tingle in her belly spread up to her nipples.

When Jack smiled his devilish smile, Emma felt as though she would turn into a puddle at his feet. Her mouth went dry as she stood there, frozen.

“Why didn’t you ever write to me?”

The question rattled her, bringing her back to her senses. “I sent you a letter, but I never received one from you.”

He quietly chuckled. “I sent you a letter, hoping you’d respond.”

“I never received any correspondence from you,” she said.

“Hmm, I never got yours either.” His low drawl reached inside, soothing her. “But,” he continued, “I believe you owe me a kiss.”

She opened her mouth, but not a sound came out.


Jack stood still. She fidgeted. The silk dress clung to her breasts and her narrow waist. Her cage crinoline maintained a respectable space between them, regardless of how much he wanted her closer. He put his hands at the waist of her skirt and felt her tremble. She bit her lower lip. Oh, how he wanted to soothe that lip.

With a gentle tug, he pulled her closer. The motion unbalanced her, and her hands sought his arms. When she still didn’t lean up to kiss him, he brought her even closer, his eyes fixed on her lower lip as her teeth released it.

He wouldn’t meet her halfway. This could be the only time he’d have the advantage, and he didn’t want to waste it. Because Emma’s feet were slightly lifted from the floor, she gripped his arms tightly.

He brought her to him. As he kissed Emma, his tongue traced her lower lip before his mouth enveloped hers. He wanted her to open her mouth, and he prodded the crease between her lips, coaxing her with his tongue. She parted her lips but pulled her head back as his tongue invaded her mouth.

She tasted like strawberries and wine. It was an intriguing taste and he wanted more. She felt soft and warm against him. He knew he was pushing the limits of the game and propriety, but when he glimpsed her eyelashes feathered on her cheek, he almost growled. Abruptly, Jack released Emma and set her on the floor, his hands remaining at her waist. He could feel her shiver as she looked into his face, her eyes wide open. He smiled.

Within a second, she raced away from him as fast as she could in a ladylike manner. Jack smirked. She had enjoyed his kiss. With his head cocked to the side, he walked to the sideboard and poured himself a brandy.


When Emma had stepped away from Jack, she did everything within her power to control her nerves. Her lips felt swollen. His hands had left an impression on her waist—an impression that wasn’t his to make. Her next and last corner was Billy’s. He grinned at her as she tried to maintain a steady gait, but the memory of Jack’s kiss tingled down her spine, making her feel hot and cold simultaneously. Stop it! She gave her head a small shake and stopped, inhaling a large breath before returning Billy’s smile.

But she wanted to kiss Jack.

                No, what he did was take advantage of the situation. How vulgar of him! Why did she crave more?

                “Is something wrong, Emma?”

Conflicting thoughts clouded her mind, and she didn’t realize she was already in front of Billy. Politely dismissing his concern, she said, “No, no, nothing is wrong.”

Billy’s head lowered slightly for her. “Kiss me, or pay a higher price forfeit.”

Emma was curious about what the higher price might be, but, after Jack’s advances, she ignored it. Composing herself, she met Billy’s lips part way.

He didn’t play with her lips nor press to enter her mouth. In a very gentlemanly manner, he gave her a quick kiss and bowed away. No fire came from his lips as it had from Jack’s. If anything, she was gravely disappointed that Billy hadn’t tried to kiss her like Jack had. She should have been glad, but she wasn’t.

Like a good girl, she placed her hand on his sleeve and let him escort her back to the others. Caroline enticed them all to start charades. Jack was with them, a devilish grin on his face that Emma had the sudden urge to slap. When his glance fell her way, excitement raced through her veins, and she had the strangest sensation her nipples were tightening. Tamping down the fury of emotions Jack caused, she spent the rest of the evening at Billy’s and Caroline’s side and away from Jack.

Gina Danna

About Gina Danna:

A USA Today Bestselling author, Gina Danna was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and has spent the better part of her life reading. History has always been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, always dreaming of writing one of her own. After years of writing historical academic papers to achieve her undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, and then for museum programs and exhibits, she found the time to write her own historical romantic fiction novels.

Now residing in Texas, under the supervision of her three dogs, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other lifelong dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.
Find out more: Website / Facebook / Twitter