Uncaged Wallflower by Jennae Cecelia Review

uncaged-wallflower-by-jennae-cecelia-reviewUncaged Wallflower by Jennae Cecelia

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Release Date: October 6, 2016

Pages: 70

Summary: Uncaged Wallflower is for those who feel trapped in the thoughts their minds produce, unable to express them with the rest of the world out of fear of critique or disagreement. For the people who need an extra dose of positivity in their day. This is not a poetry book for you to read and relate to in a sorrow filled way. It is for you to read and say yes, I can be better, and I will.

My Rating:★★★★★

My Thoughts: “Change for the better… Expand and learn something new. Don’t get wrapped up in your same old cocoon.”

Uncaged Wallflower was beyond inspiring! I know I’ve read quite a few books of poetry, but this one absolutely takes the No. 1 spot!

I loved this book so much! ❤️💖

Cecelia’s poems have a central theme of personal growth and I definitely saw that with each and every poem.

There were definitely a few poems that had me tearing up. Some revolve around the ideas of fearing change, the unknown, and not taking risks and I definitely remembered myself in many situations like that, however with many of the poems, they then went on to inspire the changes and growth in life and I adored that message!

There are so many positive messages in this short book of poetry which are very inspiring and relatable.

Out of all the messages I found in this wonderful book, one that will absolutely stay with me is that while things may not always come out perfect, above all our personal growth/happiness is what we should always strive for.

There was a poem titled “Resolutions” and after reading it, I not only found myself hopeful, but overall found it inspiring for the start of 2017! Definitely a perfect read to start off the new year!

Overall Cecelia delivers a collection of poetry with a number of positive messages to inspire change when you find yourself scared or unsure of whats to come!

Highly recommend, it will leave you inspired!✨✨

October 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 7

175645191.Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1)

Walk On Earth A Stranger Full Review

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: September 22, 2015

Pages: 436

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: An immersive mash-up of Fantasy & Historical Fiction! I loved the atmosphere Carson weaved into this story and the characters are all well developed! However, due to slow pacing and not getting enough from the plot, I was a little disappointed. But once I reached the end, I definitely found myself interested to see what happens in the sequel!

the-female-of-the-sepcies2.The Female Of The Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female Of The Species Full Review

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Pages: 344

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts:  McGinnis discusses rape/rape culture through multiple POV’s among other topics that weave together to craft an important read with phenomenal writing and complex+well-developed characters.

forest-of-memory-by-mary-robinette-kowal3.Forest Of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal

Forest Of Memory Full Review

Publisher: Tor Books

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 88

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: A mysterious and immersive short story! There were so many unique concepts from an antiquities dealer, AI tech part of daily life, and a futuristic setting of the Pacific Northwest! Its a quick read and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. My only issue was the slow pacing and there were some aspects discussed that I wish were given more of a central role! Highly recommend if your looking for a short but different Sci-Fi story!

4.The Universe Of Us by Lang Leavthe-universe-of-us-lang-leav

The Universe Of Us Full Review

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Pages: 240

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A delightful collection of poems about love and loss with a central theme/backdrop of space and the universe. However I did take away 1/2 a star b/c not all of them revolve around this theme, which is what I was expecting. Regardless, its a quick but very moving collection.

when-the-moon-was-ours-anna-marie-mclemore5.When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

When The Moon Was Ours Full Review

Publisher: Thomas Dunne

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Pages: 240

My Rating:★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: A beautifully written magical realism novel with so much diversity and important themes, remarkable characters, and a writing style that is truly magical! I highly recommend this book. With character development at its core, McLemore delivers a story of the importance of family and self-identity!

our-chemical-hearts-krystal-sutherland6.Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Our Chemical Hearts Full Review

Publisher: G.P. Putnams Sons Books For Young Readers

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Pages: 313

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A YA Contemporary with equal parts humor and heartbreak! What I loved about this novel was definitely the characters! They were wonderfully written. If you’re a fan of Rainbow Rowell or John Green, definitely check out Our Chemical Hearts! Its an engaging and honest tale of first love! Highly recommend

descender-volume-1-tin-stars7.Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire + Dustin Nguyen

Full Review To Come

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: September 24, 2015

Pages: 160

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A fascinating Sci-Fi comic which features AI Tech + Robots!! I don’t usually read much sci-fi, but this comic had been on my radar for quite some time, so I decided to give it a shot & wow I loved it! The watercolor art-style is absolutely stunning and the story is very unique! More to come in my full review!

Additional Posts From This Month:

Crooked Kingdom Playlist

Book Bytes I #7

YA Book Recommendations For Hispanic Heritage Month

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab Cover Reveal

What Did You Read This Month? 🙂

 

 

Forest Of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal Review

forest-of-memory-by-mary-robinette-kowalForest Of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal

Publisher: Tor Books

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 88

Summary: Katya deals in Authenticities and Captures, trading on nostalgia for a past long gone. Her clients are rich and they demand items and experiences with only the finest verifiable provenance. Other people’s lives have value, after all.

But when her A.I. suddenly stops whispering in her ear she finds herself cut off from the grid and loses communication with the rest of the world.

The man who stepped out of the trees while hunting deer cut her off from the cloud, took her A.I. and made her his unwilling guest.

There are no Authenticities or Captures to prove Katya’s story of what happened in the forest. You’ll just have to believe her…

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: A captivating and mysterious short story where technology has become a fundamental part of everyday life.

Having listened to audio drama podcasts recently (many in the vein of quirky sci-fi/fantasy) I was easily transported into this Dystopian/Futuristic Pacific Northwest.

Centering around a futuristic world where AI Tech is a part of everyday life, Katya Gould, the main character, recounts her story on a typewriter of what happened to her when she found herself in a forest with her connection to her AI tech mysteriously cut-off and how she gets tangled with a mysterious character who is hunting deer.

Katya’s recollection of this moment in her life was written in such a unique way. There are misspellings/typos throughout this short story and I felt they really tied into how this world with so much tech. had influenced Katya as a character and the imperfections of memory.

Another aspect that made this short story so much fun to read was the overall concept. Katya is an antiquities dealer who trades objects (mostly tech) that are vintage or everyday objects we have today, such as books, that have been used/have lived through experiences and are seen as nostalgic to people in this world.
This novella brings up fascinating ideas in such a short amount of time such as man and machine, connecting with nature, and the importance of memory. The ending is rather open ended, but I felt so connected to this world in such a short amount of time.

However I did take away a star b/c the pacing felt slow at times and I wish Katya’s job dealing with Authenticities was given a bigger role because it was such a fascinating concept!

Overall a mysterious, unique and immersive story that I highly recommend. Katya’s POV will keep you reading from start to finish as you uncover more about this peculiar world!

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab Cover Reveal

As of October 13 the cover for Victoria Schwab’s sequel/finale to her Monsters Of Verity Duology, Our Dark Duet was revealed!

Here is the cover!! (originally from EpicReads)

✨🎻✨🎻✨🎻

……

our-dark-duet-victoria-schwab-cover-reveal

A Masterpiece!! ❤ ❤ 🎻✨💖🎉🎉

I adore this cover from the color to the details of the background!! ❤ ❤

Its great that it matches This Savage Song perfectly from the somber/mysterious tone the cover gives to the instrument in the background, additionally its interesting to see the background also feature another part of the city of Verity!

Our Dark Duet is set to be released June 13, 2017!

What Are Your Thoughts On This Cover? 🙂

Lets Discuss In The Comments Below!

 

The Female Of The Species by Mindy McGinnis Review

the-female-of-the-sepciesThe Female Of The Species by Mindy McGinnis

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Pages: 344

Summary: Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: A powerful + important read! Highly Recommend!

Note: This novel discusses rape/rape culture and sexual assault. There is also mention of animal abuse. Be aware if those are triggers for you.

She discusses rape/rape culture honestly + brings up very important topics! Even after closing the book, this book still has me thinking! There is so much to this story from its underlying messages to its complex main characters.

McGinnis writing style is spectacular! She weaves in a lot of symbolism/metaphors + through her writing which connects her 3 POV’s extremely well. Having read/loved her Not A Drop To Drink duology, it was interesting to read this novel and compare from her shift of Sci-Fi Dystopia to Contemporary.

The main characters Alex, Peekay & Jack all had their own POVS and were wonderfully written. McGinnis’s first person POV really brings these characters to life.

Alex gets to know Peekay and Jack over the course of this novel. Keeping herself isolated, she learns about relationships and friendships, and comes to understand how her acts of revenge are affecting her mentally/emotionally. Alex does becomes Peekay’s best friend and it was wonderful to see from her POV, the compassionate/loving side Alex usually keeps hidden, when she begins working at an animal shelter.

Peekay (Clarie) gives the reader an inside look at how female vs. female behavior can be harmful. Throughout this novel, Peekay becomes more aware of how her behavior can really skew her view on others and why its important to change that.

Jack is very much meant to show the reader an inside look at the “boys will be boys” statement. He changes over the course of this novel and begins to take initiative and look at how his behavior could be harmful to women (like Alex and his former girlfriend Branley.) Additionally, through out this novel he tells himself how much he wants to be a better person and really works towards doing so.

While I loved each of the 3 MCs equally, Alex was my favorite. She murders those who commit horrible acts of rape and sets to make things right considering her sister is no longer with her, due to being raped herself. She wants to have close relationships with others, but struggles because of what she’s lost (not only her sister, but also her family which is now broken), due to the dark murders she’s committed.

My only minor issue was the pacing in some parts.

This is a novel that will leave you thinking long after you’ve finished. The raw + poetic writing style keeps you connected to these characters +  gets you thinking about these  important/mature dark topics that are sadly still around us.

An immersive YA Contemporary which handles very tough subjects, but overall delivers a very important discussion of rape/rape-culture.

Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson Review

17564519Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1)

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: September 22, 2015

Pages: 436

Summary: Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.
She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: The Gold Rush comes to life in Carson’s YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy mash-up!

Leah/Lee’s 1st person POV really transports the reader to the era of the Gold Rush. Additionally, the wild west elements really show the gritty/strenuous journey of traveling during this time period!

Carson does a fantastic job at slowly weaving in the light fantasy elements (Lee’s gold sensing ability) with historical fiction while still making it an immersive + rich world!

There’s also discussion about women, considering Lee dresses up as a boy for a majority of the novel, with a lot of discussion of how she views herself and begins to question if she should stay disguised or not when she goes to California.

I will admit my rating is low for a few reasons:
1.The pacing was really slow for me + dragged in some parts (mostly on the journey)
2. Lee’s magic isn’t used as much as I expected  + isn’t given much explanation either
3. I wanted more from the plot 

Regardless I will definitely be reading the sequel! The 1st person POV made the novel feel very immersive and I was really able to connect with Leah and her struggles as a character. Her overall character and character-development/growth along the way was the best part of this entire novel. Additionally, the elements of mystery and suspense made the novel fun + enjoyable.

I loved reading how Leah slowly but surely became friends with the people on her journey, considering this takes place over numerous months, it made sense that the development of those relationships took quite some time.

Carson does a phenomenal job at creating the atmosphere/setting of the Gold Rush and weaving in “Wild West” elements and the small hints of fantasy. They all flowed very well together.

Overall an enjoyable 1st book in the trilogy + great setting! While the pacing + plot suffer a little, I’m definitely interested to see where the story goes!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo Review {Spoiler-Free}

Crooked Kingdom Sept. 27, 2016Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Six Of Crows #2)

Publisher: Henry Holt &Co.

Release Date: September 27, 2016

Pages: 546

Summary: When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: An epic finale to a truly magical and fantastical duology! ✨🏰

While I really loved Six Of Crows Crooked Kingdom delivered so much more in terms of character development and world-building.

Each character goes on their own journey and while each of them are unique + different in their own way, the friendships they forge among each other shows how much they care for each other and would sacrifice for one another, despite their vast differences and the obstacles that stand in their way.

As with SOC, we get an even more in depth look into the mind of the SOC crew through the 3rd person narrative + a more in depth look at the schemes + tactics that rule Ketterdam.
In Six Of Crows, while I could understand the basics of the world I found I needed more in terms of descriptions + world building to really get a better grasp on Ketterdam.

Ketterdam, in my opinion, was more developed and the world building continued to the very end!

I could really picture the setting and atmosphere of this world so much more because additional locations were included and from each character’s POV, I was able to view Ketterdam from their eyes which really made the world feel more richer and developed.

As for plot, its as complex and immersive as Six Of Crows with twists/turns, action, and genius+devious planning at every turn.

The only minor issues I have is little moments of slow pacing.
+ Just wanting more POV from Kaz! He his such a complex+fascinating character & I just wanted a few more chapters from him!!

Overall I’m sad this series has come to an end! But I’m happy to have been on this incredible journey with this wonderful cast of characters! ❤

Crooked Kingdom delivers non-stop action, character+ world development doesn’t stop for a second and Bardugo concludes the tale of the SOC crew magnificently!

+ Keep an eye on the blog for a Crooked Kingdom Playlist! ✨😄🎧

Have you read Crooked Kingdom? 

Let’s Discuss In The Comments Below  🙂

 

 

Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor Review

Unscripted Joss Byrd August 23Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Release Date: August 23, 2016

Pages: 224

Summary: Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is “fiercely emotional,” a young actress with “complete conviction,” and a “powerhouse.”

Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: A heartfelt, coming-of-age contemporary about an up and coming actress who must find herself in all the pressures and struggles of Hollywood.

Joss is a 12-yr. old up and coming actress! She’s had quite a few roles but The Locals is her first big (starring) role!

However, difficulties arise when she struggles with her mothers expectations + to pull off a scene she isn’t sure she can preform.

What really surprised me was Joss’s age, considering this is YA! Regardless, she is a very mature main character with an engaging voice/POV throughout the novel!

I love reading YA books surrounding Hollywood/acting and seeing what happens behind the scenes + getting more background on the movie-making process & receiving tidbits/behind the scenes views at what happens off-screen was absolutely fascinating!

The movie set itself plays such a huge role not only in the novel, but also in Joss’s world/life! Ever since she was little, her mother pushed her into acting and hadn’t stopped since. It was interesting to see how Joss viewed herself (mostly lost/unsure) considering most of her life surrounded cameras, scripts, etc.

There are so many mature themes/topics discussed in this novel and really made it feel so  real! Such as Joss’s struggles/triumphs with dyslexia, her mother Viva not being there for her, + her fears/difficulties in a scene that she is unsure if she can handle.

Because its a huge part of Joss’s life, she is essentially supporting herself and her mother, yet doesn’t get her fair share of the pay check (usually spending it without Joss’s permission)  considering she does all the work and her mother is constantly being strict with her.

As for the plot, it was wonderful! You follow Joss on her latest project making friends, learning more about herself and what Hollywood really means for her. With a little over 2oo pages, you feel so connected to Joss and her struggles & really see the character come to life.

Additionally there is no romance which I loved &  was refreshing to see! The characters/connections Joss has with her mother, cast/friends + crew is the highlight of this novel!

There is a beautiful friendship that develops between Joss & Chris (her on-screen brother) and while its clear Joss has feelings for him + is hesitant to approach him in the beginning, the develop such a beautiful friendship and help each other along the way when they reach difficulties in scenes + issues that arise on set!

I did take away 1/2 a star b/c at moments I did feel the pacing was a little slow + I wish there was more development/moments with Joss&Chris!!

Regardless of those minor issues….

This is a YA Contemporary with so much heart! Character development is at the core of this story and is filled with such engaging characters that will keep you reading, curious to see where Joss’s Hollywood career is headed!

I highly recommend this novel if you’ve read Something Real by Heather Demetrios + are interested in reading a contemporary with a behind the scenes look at the bustles of Hollywood life!

Kingdom Of Ash And Briars Playlist

kingdom-of-ash-and-briars-playlistHappy Monday!

Today’s reading playlist is inspired by A Kingdom Of Ash And Briars by Hannah West!

If you’ve read it, check out my ARC Review Here!

If you haven’t read KOAAB, this debut novel centers around Bristal a girl who realizes she has elicromancer abilities and is tasked with protecting the 3 kingdoms of her world when an army/war is brewing! It incorporates many classic fairy tales and puts unique twists on them (Cinderella, Mulan,Sleeping Beauty)

While reading, I listened to many Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep OST’s & I felt they really matched with the overall plot/tone of the story + I’ve also included a few tracks from Final Fantasy!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

 

Top 10 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To!

top-10-tuesday-podcastsSo pumped for today’s Top 10 Tuesday!!

Today’s topic is all about audio freebies! (audiobooks, podcasts etc.)

If you’ve been following me on twitter, you’ve probably seen me talking about a couple of podcasts that I’ve caught up with & am obsessed with!

I only recently started getting back into podcasts, but am having so much fun discovering more of them and getting immersed in this unique way of story telling!

If you’ve heard any of these podcasts please let me know b/c I’d love to find more people to talk about them with!

While only 2 are listed, please feel free to tell me any podcasts you recommend + any that are similar to the one’s listed below! ❤

audio-dime-museum1.Audio Dime Museum (All Caught Up)

Summary: From the Just A Story team, comes a weekly, serialized experimental storytelling podcast which explores historical legends through the artifacts on display in the Audio Dime Museum. Part guided tour, part radio drama; each episode presents the curious story of one object from the collection. Meet your guide on this journey, The Curator, and learn her secrets as you delve into the world of possibility, magic and the unknown. Merging the suspenseful style of mystery with the conventions of ghost stories and the peculiarity that only historical fact can provide, this podcast is not for the faint of heart.

Why I Love It: The Writing!! The Writing!! 

From the beginning you are transported into this magical and mysterious world and learn more about it and the mysterious Curator with each and every line + the story’s are brilliantly told! 

The separate stories + overall plot effortlessly weave themselves together to deliver a fascinating/unique podcast! ❤

the-bright-sessions2. The Bright Sessions (All Caught Up)

Summary: Dr. Bright provides therapy for the strange and unusual; their sessions have been recorded for research purposes.

Why I Love It: The unique format of audio recordings in the form of therapy sessions + the voice actors bring to life many incredible and unique characters!

With each episode you discover more about the many patients + the mysterious Dr. Bright!

Similar to Audio Dime Museum, each episode uncovers more about the overall plot underneath!

Each voice actor/actress delivers so much to their character, I could really picture the story in my mind as if it were a movie!

I highly recommend checking out both of these podcasts, if you love stories/story telling they are absolutely incredible! 

What Podcasts Have You Heard?

Lets Discuss In The Comments Below! 🙂