Audiobook reviews, Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Upcoming Reviews

I have a couple of upcoming reviews for audio books and print books.

BellwetherBellwether by Connie Willis

Genre: SciFi

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet: The Powerful of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Genre: Non-Fiction

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

A Madness So Discreet

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

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Book Lists, Fiction, To-Read List, Upcoming reads, Young Adult books

New Releases: Mid Summer 2017

 

Summer is here and so are some of my eagerly awaited books! Below are a few of the books I have been watching (and waiting) for a while.

The CowsRelease Date: April 6, 2017

Dawn O’Porter is one of my favorite YA authors. Her characters and stories are real and not pithy like some other contemporary novels. O’Porter’s novels generally follow female protagonists and their friendship with other girls. A true coming of age story as seen from a young girl, some what of a rarity in any genre. The Goodreads summary:

COW n. /ka?/
A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype.

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women. In all the noise of modern life, each needs to find their own voice.

It’s about friendship and being female.
It’s bold and brilliant.
It’s searingly perceptive.
It’s about never following the herd.
And everyone is going to be talking about it.

Buy from Amazon ($15.02), here.

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir

Release Date: June 13, 2017

The author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian packs punch with this memoir about his relationship with his mother. The Goodreads summary:

When his mother passed away at the age of 78, Sherman Alexie responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is this stunning memoir. Featuring 78 poems, 78 essays and intimate family photographs, Alexie shares raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine–growing up dirt-poor on an Indian reservation, one of four children raised by alcoholic parents. Throughout, a portrait emerges of his mother as a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated woman. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me is a powerful account of a complicated relationship, an unflinching and unforgettable remembrance.

Buy from Amazon( 17.98), here.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) BodyRelease Date: June 13, 2017

Roxane Gay is quickly becoming one of our most crucial voices. Her witty, raw writings in Bad Feminist is what first introduced me to Gay, and I have been a fan ever since. As someone who has never been the ‘normal’ body size (re I’ve always been a healthy weight or a little more), I look forward to reading this one.

Goodreads summary:

In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her own past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

Buy from Amazon($15.46) , here.

What books are you looking forward to this summer? Let me know in the comments below! Or better yet, have you read any of the above? What did you think?

Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Review: Wink, Poppy, Midnight

Wink Poppy Midnight

This novel was weird. Like imagine Lana del Ray singing at an Adams Family Reunion kind of weird. It was haunting.

It was annoying, too. We never find out what the MC’s real name is, she is just simply called River because that’s the name she calls herself in her head. Quite honestly, the whole book is about ‘River’ fangirling over a family of maybe witches. It reminded me of Twilight.

The summary from Goodreads:

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

Like? I read this novel a little while ago, and I didn’t post the review because I could not think of anything positive to say. The writing itself is good, but the story sucks balls, man. The cover is pretty.

So… yeah.

Sold on Amazon ($6.99) here.

Audiobook reviews, Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews

Review: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (Audio Book)

Why Not Me?

4 Stars of Five

Mindy Kaling is a delightful storyteller, and a hilarious wit. This is her second book, the first being Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? It is an further telling of her life before, during and after The Office and her show The Mindy Project.

The Goodread’s summary is,

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.
In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions”, Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate-this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady”, she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes”, Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)
Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Kaling. Her intriguing stories of time at the White House and body issues, and relationship fails is heartening.

Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews

Review of On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

4 of 5 Stars

I am a sucker for books on writing. Whether or not the author is famous matters only some, because I just love to read about other’s love for the craft. I was love reading these pseudo guide books, because I hope that they make spark my creative flame once more, or at the least, make me get back into writing.

On Writing has proved to be inspirational in this regard. I know that the muse cannot be waited on. Sometimes you have to prod it to wake it up. As summarized on Goodreads:

“Long live the King’ hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999–and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it–fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.”

Generally on high school and college reading lists, King’s memoir of the craft is educational, and any struggling writer should own this for their toolbox. He does seem a bit scattered through certain parts of the book, after his C.V. Although, how can I honestly critique a man that has written as many best selling novels as Stephen King?

All in all, this memoir has convinced me to start writing again, and it has made me realize that some of the strategies I learned in college creative writing classes need to be unlearned.

Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews, What I'm reading now...

What I’m Currently Reading…

OnWriting

Stephen King’s On Writing is the book that is supposed to make me want to write again, or at least that is what I tell myself. It’s a tall order, but it is Stephen King.

So far, it has help to remind me that I know how to write, that I can write, and well. I just need the gumption and dedication to stick to a story until it’s finished.

Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Series Reviews

Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series

Rivers of London (Peter Grant, #1)Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)

****4 Stars out of 5

The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch is a series I have wanted to read since 2012, when I was studying in London. As you can see from the cover, Diana Gabaldon pitched it as grown-up Harry Potter. I mean, come on. How could I not love this series?

I started reading this series a couple of months ago, and yes, I love it. It is not Harry Potter by any means, but that’s okay. The main character, Peter Grant, is a young police constable, who by happenstance of meeting a ghost, is appointed an apprentice to a magician investigator. There are vampires, and river spirits, ghosts, and of course magic, all this fantasy is mixed in a very believable depiction of the London Metropolitan Police.

This is a light read series, of course. It is intriguing and the main character is very likeable. Peter is a POC, which is refreshing, and the novels do mention that fact in ways other than just character descriptions.

All in all, if you like Urban fantasy, I would recommend this series. So far, I have only read the first two novels, Midnight Riot (Rivers of London-UK name) and Moon over Soho, but I will continue with the series.

Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On

“Carry on, Carry on, as if nothing really matters…”-Bohemian Rhapsody, Queendownload3.5 out of 5 Stars

This book was a lot better than I thought. I’m apprehensive to reading things that are basically promo items for other books (cough, Fangirl, coughcough) or continuations of other series. I just don’t like them. I was also kind of confused because it is listed as a Fantasy novel, and I like Rowell for her Romance, but it turns out this is in fact another YA Romance, but because the main character is male, it is listed as fantasy. This is no fault of Rowell, simply the way publishing world works.

Summary from Goodreads:

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

It’s interesting to see an entire magical world built in one book. This book was supposed to the final book in a Middle Grade/YA Fantasy series, a la Harry Potter. This was well done. I just felt like some of the cliches that are often criticized in YA Fantasy were over looked here.

I get that this was supposed to be a companion novel, but it is still a novel. Some of the plot devices used were just…predictable and I feel like if it had been an honest to god attempt at a fantasy novel, it would never had made it past some unpaid literary agent intern’s slush pile.

The characters are what pulled this story through. Rowell is very good at characters and character development, but the relationship in this novel was just too forced. It was like, ‘well everyone knows it is going to happen because of Fangirl, so I don’t have to put forth much effort’.

So, I like it, but I didn’t love it. I saw every plot point coming from miles away, and the romance I love Rowell for was not entirely there. I will continue to read everything she writes though.

Updates, What I'm reading now..., Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

So…

Reading is hard sometimes. Especially when you’ve gone through a slump and can’t find a book that sparks your interest. I was reading Carry On but because I didn’t read it fast enough, my loan from the library expired and I had to be put back on hold. I have it checked out again, and am going to finish it this time.

Wink Poppy Midnight I was really into, so much so that I took it to the gym on Friday to read on the elliptical. It was great, until I got a call on Saturday saying it had been returned to them, sopping wet. Apparently, it fell out of my bag on my way from the gym to my car and then it rained Saturday.  So I owe the library a new book. I’ve ordered it and am going to finish reading it before I hand it back over.

So the reviews may be long in coming, but they’re coming. Just stick with me y’all. The struggle is real some times.

Reviews, What I'm reading now..., Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

What I’m Currently Reading…

Carry On

Love Rainbow Rowell, loved Fangirl, but am skeptical on how her Drarry (Draco/Harry) fanfic will turn out. Full review to come.

*Note: This isn’t actually Drarry Fanfic but it’s damn near close.