May 2016 Wrap-Up

#Of Books Read: 8

When We Collided1.When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided Full Review

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Release Date: April 5, 2016

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A lovely YA-Contemporary which brings up discussion on mental health & makes family a major part of the story. Jonah & Vivi’s relationship as it progresses, helps them both when they reach difficulties and come to grow because of it! My only issue was that at points I found it difficult to connect w/ Vivi!

tumblr_nw7oktjhbp1qdlytco1_r1_5402.The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (The Crowns Game #1)

The Crowns Game Full ARC Review

Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Release Date: May 17,2016

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: A magical debut!! Through the writing style you really come to understand the world! The characters were all developed wonderfully & the ending definitely left me wanting the sequel!

Giant Days Vol.13.Giant Days Volume 1 by John Allison Review

Giant Days Vol. 1 Full Review

Publisher: Boom! Box

Release Date: December 1, 2015

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: Loved this comic so much! ❤ It tells the story of 3 girls who become quick friends in their first few weeks of college & all the crazy adventures they go on!

9781608868049_084824.Giant Days Volume 2 by John Allison Review

Giant Days Vol. 2 Full Review

Publisher: Boom! Box

Release Date: April 12, 2016

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: This volume definitely focused more on the girl’s academics and relationships! While I did enjoy the more serious route, I still felt I needed to see more of the adventures these girls went on + the differing art-style 1/2 way through didn’t make this feel the same as Volume 1!

The Unexpected Everything5.The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected Everything Full Review

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Release Date: May 3,2016

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: This YA-Contemporary centers around Andie & what happens when her summer doesn’t go as planned! If your looking for a summer read w/ friendship/family I highly recommend this! My only issue was the length & at points the story’s pacing was quite slow!

Princless Vol. 16/7. Princless Volumes 1 & 2 by Jeremy Whitley

Princless Volume 1 & 2 Full Review

Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment INC.

Release Date: Vol.1-April 1,2014 (Encore Edition)

Vol.2-June 26,2013

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: A great comic series centering around princess Adrienne who decides not only to save herself but her other sisters while  making friends along the way! There’s girl power, friendship & adventure! Highly recommend it!

CS0BSVEXIAAAwDn8.The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4)

Full Review To Come

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: April 26,2016

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: Still debating between 4/4.5, but after thinking about I may leave it 4! A wonderful conclusion to a unique and captivating series! There was so much character development & the plot kept me turning the page! There were a few questions I still wanted answered by the end, but overall it was a satisfying conclusion!

Additional Post From This Month:

May 2016 Releases

What Books Did You Read This Month? 🙂

When We Collided by Emery Lord Review

When We CollidedWhen We Collided by Emery Lord

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Release Date: April 5, 2016

Pages: 352

Summary: We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts: I’ve only read one other Emery Lord book, The Start Of Me & You!

Comparing the two, I realize that what makes her books so great is how realistic and flawed she makes her characters!

This can definitely be seen by the family issues that the characters encounter in the novel!

+ I also loved how Vivi/Jonah’s relationship developed! It was quite a unique development & I loved reading every moment of it!

Through her writing she truly paints Jonah/Vivi’s worlds & how much they change each other as the story progresses!

I really loved the descriptions of Verona Cove! I truly felt I could immerse myself in the setting and picture the diner, the beach, etc.

Emery did a wonderful job at differing Jonah/Vivi’s POVs. I felt I could truly understand each of them & the issues/problems they were working so hard to fix!

+ family is such a huge part of this novel and is done wonderfully + side characters you don’t expect, become such integral parts of the story too!

I did take away a star b/c at points I found it difficult to connect/follow Vivi’s POV

b/c she just has a lot going on in her head at once.

+ by the end when Vivi decides to move, I found her letter/gift to Jonah beautiful but the abrupt ending bittersweet 😥

Overall this novel took me by surprise!

Jonah and Vivi find each other when they need it most and help each other to overcome their personal obstacles!

If you loved/read I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson, I think you would really enjoy this novel too b/c of the similar writing style & character dynamics!

+ if you are looking for a YA Contemporary w/ discussion of mental illness + beautiful writing, I highly recommend When We Collided!

April 2016 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

Here Are The April Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

When We Collided.jpg
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens April 5

1.When We Collided by Emery Lord

*Currently Reading*

SummaryMeet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn’t be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi’s zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there’s something important Vivi hasn’t told him.

 

Mabry_FierceandSubtle_jkt_rgb_2MB1
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers April 12

2. A Fierce And Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

A Fierce & Subtle Poison Spoiler-Free ARC Review

Summary: Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

Dreamology.jpg
Publisher: HarperTeen April 12

3. Dreamology by Lucy Keating

Summary: For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. It turns out, though, that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max, and getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

When their dreams start to bleed dangerously into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

Counting Thyme.jpg
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers April 12

4. Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

Summary: When eleven-year-old Thyme Owens’ little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn’t exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary.

After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. She finds herself even more mixed up when her heart feels the tug of new friends, a first crush, and even a crotchety neighbor and his sweet whistling bird. All Thyme can do is count the minutes, the hours, and days, and hope time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home.

The Passion Of Dolssa
Publisher: Viking Books For YR April 12

5. The Passion Of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Summary: I must write this account, and when I have finished, I will burn it.

Buried deep within the archives of a convent in medieval France is an untold story of love, loss, and wonder and the two girls at the heart of it all.

Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with a secret lover and an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she’s on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire, and wants Dolssa executed, too.

Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town of Bajas.

When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers. But all of Botille’s tricks, tales, and cleverness can’t protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon Bajas, Dolssa’s passion and Botille’s good intentions could destroy the entire village.

The-Star-Touched-Queen
Publisher: St.Martins Griffin April 26

6.The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

August 2015 Wrap Up

# of books read: 8

831. Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G.Willow Wilson

Publisher: Marvel– Released October 30, 2014

Pages: 120

My Rating:Full Star Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: I flew through this volume. It was fast-paced and fun to read. What made this comic even more great was how diverse it was. Pakistani Muslim-American Heroine?? Yes!!! With our MC Kamala, she just wants to fit in, but her parents being true to their Pakistani and Muslim heritage, don’t want her to lose touch with her roots. Her transformation from herself into Ms.Marvel, in my opinion, was a metaphor for her getting a chance to “fit in.” By the end, a villain by the name “The Inventor” gets introduced and I can’t wait to see how he ties into the plot of this amazing graphic novel series!

842. Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca

Publisher: Simon Pulse–Released June 9, 2015

Pages: 320

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Summary: Is there anything that electric chemistry can’t overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding on in this romantic debut novel told in alternating Before and After chapters.

The summer before freshman year, Kelsey and David became inseparable best friends—until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled, including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decide to move away, she can’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. But David’s not quite ready to be left.

Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town. Old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And maybe she never wants to…

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: This was such a great contemporary. Going into this book, I did not know it was going to be told in alternating POV’s (Past & Present), but with that addition, it helped me to better understand Kelsey and David and why their relationship/friendship had issues. Though I did love this book, what I didn’t like was how Kelsey & David didn’t have much communication in regards to their problems. It would have been easily fixed if they had just talked to each other. I also did not like Violet’s character. Her attitude in the book is what ruined the story for me. However, by the end, Kelsey&David fix their relationship and that happy ending saved the book for me!

853. Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen

Publisher: Philomel Books–Released June 2, 2015

Pages: 352

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: A heartrending, bold novel in verse about family, identity, and forgiveness

Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world–and everything she thought she knew about her family–is shattered instantly. Unable to comprehend the lies, betrayal, and secrets that–unbeknownst to Mira–have come to define and keep intact her family’s existence, Mira distances herself from her sister and closest friends as a means of coping. But her father’s sexual orientation isn’t all he’s kept hidden. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. As Mira struggles to make sense of the many fractures in her family’s fabric and redefine her wavering sense of self, she must find a way to reconnect with her dad–while there is still time.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts: This book was an absolute gem. Going into this book, I did not know it was going to be written in verse. With that, it added so much to the story and worked extremely well for the plot. I must also mention the writing style. It was so beautiful, each chapter had a unique style to it, and I had honestly never read a book like that before. With this topic, of course there would be sad moments, but there are many happy moments as well.  It is fast-paced but is filled with so much emotion and tackles many topics in a raw and realistic way, such as family dynamics, GLBT, and HIV. I could not find much reviews on this book from other blogs etc., and I feel it is extremely underrated, so if you have not read this book please do. You will not regret it!

864. My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire–Released March 1, 2014

Pages: 358

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: Jackie does not like surprises. Chaos is the enemy! The best way to get her successful, busy parents to notice her is to be perfect. The perfect look, the perfect grades-the perfect daughter. And then…

Surprise #1: Jackie’s family dies in a freak car accident.

Surprise #2: Jackie has to move cross-country to live with the Walters-her new guardians.

Surprise #3: The Walters have twelve sons. (Well, eleven, but Parker acts like a boy anyway)

Now Jackie must trade in her Type A personality and New York City apartment for a Colorado ranch and all the wild Walter boys who come with it. Jackie is surrounded by the enemy-loud, dirty, annoying boys who have no concept of personal space. Okay, several of the oldest guys are flat-out gorgeous. But still annoying. She’s not stuck-up or boring-no matter what they say. But proving it is another matter. How can she fit in and move on when she needs to keep her parents’ memory alive by living up to the promise of perfect?

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: Reading about Jackie and how she would adjust to her new life, was overall very enjoyable to read. The “Walter Boys” were all unique and it was great to learn more about them as the story progressed. The reason this book has 4 stars, is due to the fact that around 1/2 way through the book, I felt Jackie’s character wasn’t acting as she normally would. She began taking risks, by ditching class and going out to parties. Though it made sense because she lost her parents/sister and felt all that sadness within herself, but to me it just felt inconsistent with who her character was. Overall it was an enjoyable book and one I am glad I took a chance to read.

875. Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why by G.Willow Wilson

Publisher: Marvel–Released April 7, 2015

Pages: 136

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: Who is the Inventor, and what does he want with the all-new Ms. Marvel and all her friends? Maybe Wolverine can help! Kamala may be fan-girling out when her favorite (okay maybe Top Five) super hero shows up, but that won’t stop her from protecting her hometown. Then, Kamala crosses paths with Inhumanity for the first time–by meeting the royal dog, Lockjaw! Every girl wants a puppy, but this one may be too much of a handful, even for a super hero with embiggening powers. But why is Lockjaw really with Kamala? As Ms. Marvel discovers more about her past, the Inventor continues to threaten her future

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: Kamala had even more character development in this issue. She began questioning whether she can be a superhero without hurting others. It was also great to see she got a companion.  A Giant Teleporting Dog! It doesn’t get much better than that! It is revealed that “The Inventor” was using kids to power up destructive robots!! A few pages later, another robot attacks Kamala at school! As the story progresses, she figures out she is “inhuman.” When she tries to fight Doyle again, she realizes other runaways don’t want to be rescued and are there by choice. She convinces them to fight with her after another encounter with “The Inventor.” After reaching his lair, Kamala see’s where all the other kids are being held. After the action-packed ending I can’t wait to read Vol. 3!

886. Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers–Released May 26, 2015

Pages: 375

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts: Overall I really enjoyed this book. I am a big fan of YA mystery/thrillers, but the reason this book gets 4 stars, is because of the pacing. With some chapters, I was reading through them quickly because it was fast paced, but a majority of the time, the other chapters felt really slow and seemed to drag on. The overall plot was fantastic and was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. The characters too, were  written very well and were all very unique. So, though this story was great as a whole, the pacing made it rather difficult to get through.

897. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Publisher: Bloomsbury– Released March 31, 2015

Pages: 384

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics, The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

***Spoilers Ahead***

My Thoughts: Overall this was a beautiful contemporary! I was really able to relate to Paige because, she mentioned she was an introvert and at times, I can be introverted too! She also mentioned her love of reading which, of course, I can relate to as well.  It was great to read about  her growth and learning to accept Aaron’s death. And it was also great to see her finally admit her feelings to Max by the end! The pacing was great and the overall messages of this story were great too! Highly recommend this YA contemporary.

898. The Game of Love & Death by Martha Brockenbrough

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books– Released April 28, 2015

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now… Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured—a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

***Spoilers Ahead***

My Thoughts: This was a very unique story. I loved Henry and Flora as main characters. The author’s writing style is captivating and adds an element of mystery. The alternating chapters between Henry, Flora, and Love&Death let me understand each characters fully and understand the world through their eyes. It gets 4 stars because, I felt at times it went a little slow for me but other than that, I really loved this book and highly recommend it if you have read The Diviners by Libba Bray (both stories immerse you in an atmosphere of the early 1900’s)  or just love YA Historical Fiction.

What books did you read this month? 🙂