January 2018 Wrap-Up

Can’t believe the first month of 2018 is already over! Today I’ll be sharing my first Monthly Wrap-Up of 2018~ 

# Of Books Read: 9

Anchors & Vacancies by Kat Savage1.Anchors & Vacancies by Kat Savage

Owned | Read/Finished on January 1 | Rating: ★★★★☆ |Anchors & Vacancies Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Now pretty much a yearly tradition for me, I try to start off the new year by reading a poetry book, for 2018 I decided to read Anchors & Vacancies by Kat Savage!

This book contains 45 poems centering around the journey of a love lost and how that loss can impact a person when its difficult to let go.

This quote really stuck with me throughout the entire book:

“There’s a certain kind of ache in the chambers of my heart…”

While I really understood the complex emotions + journey Savage portrayed in the collection, on a personal level (aside from a few) many didn’t really connect with me (hence the 4 stars). However, I loved her writing-style and plan to read more of her poetry in the future.

The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes2. The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes

Library | Started December 23 + Finished on January 4 | Rating: ★★★★☆ |The Arsonist Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Told through 3 unique POV’s, The Arsonist brilliantly weaves coming-of-age, historical fiction, & Mystery/Thriller all in one! This novel follows Molly Mavity + Ibrahim, aka, “Pepper” Al-Yussef who’s paths cross when a mysterious letter brings them together to solve the mystery of Ava Dreyman, who was a resistance fighter during the time of the Berlin Wall. The friendship between Pepper + Molly was so beautifully written and you really see how lonely they feel, but the bond of their friendship reminds them that they aren’t alone & I loved that! There’s so much complexity + mystery that really makes this book surprising. I suppose my only issue was that compared to Oakes debut The Sacred Lies Of Minnow Bly (Which I loved), the writing for The Arsonist felt rather flat and certain aspects from side-character development to setting description, etc. fell a bit short. Aside from that, The Arsonist is a compelling story that weaves in so many differing genres/themes that I highly recommend it if your looking for a unique read!

Beneath The Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire3.Beneath The Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #3)

ARC | Started January 7 + Finished on January 8 | Rating: ★★★★☆ ½ |Beneath The Sugar Sky Full ARC Review

Overall Thoughts: Beneath The Sugar Sky was easily my favorite book of the Wayward Children series so far! The descriptive and whimsical writing really showed McGuire’s growth as an author with this series. When Rini finds herself Eleanor West’s Home For Wayward Children characters, both new & returning, join Rini on her quest to the peculiar world of Confection, to bring back an old friend. Kade & Christopher are easily my favorite characters of the entire series & not only did this book remind me of that, but their banter + friendship easily made this book one of my favorites! Filled with adventure, a dynamic + diverse cast of characters, magic & mystery, Beneath The Sugar Sky is a fantastic continuation to the Wayward Children Series!

A Taxonomy Of Love by Rachael Allen4.A Taxonomy Of Love by Rachael Allen

ARC | Started January 5 + Finished on January 13 | Rating: ★★★☆☆ ½ |A Taxonomy Of Love ARC Review

Overall Thoughts: The unique format & expansive timeline, made A Taxonomy Of Love a pretty unique YA Contemporary. We follow Spencer from 13-19 as he navigates life + his friendship with his new neighbor Hope Birdsong. Allen really developed the main character Spencer, while bringing so much progression & growth to his character that you can really see by the end of the novel. Throughout the story, Spencer + Hope begin to drift apart when Hope suffers an important loss in her family. Your left wondering if they’ll ever reconnect, while also seeing where their own paths are leading them. I felt however, with the constant jumps in the timeline, characters + story points had uneven development, going from extremely fast + rushed pacing to uneventful & slow moments. That made it difficult to really connect with any of the other characters, aside from a few main ones (hence the 3.5). However, Allen did a fantastic job at weaving in so many themes + developing the atmosphere of her contemporary story over such an expansive timeline!

Love Hate And Other Filters Samira Ahmed5.Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

ARC | Started January 15 + Finished on January 19 | Rating: ★★★★☆ |Love, Hate & Other Filters ARC Review

Overall Thoughts: Love, Hate & Other Filters tackles such a relevant + timely issue while also balancing heart-warming moments and chilling/honest ones too! I loved Maya so much, from her passion to follow her dreams of becoming a film director to the strength and courage she builds over the course of the novel. There was one important moment I found that pretty much put the entirety of the novel into focus and that was the importance of Maya’s camera. I found it represented not only a shield for Maya, but also thinking broadly how people tend to view each other lenses (or filters!). Throughout the novel we follow Maya Aziz and her journey to not only understand who she wants to become, but seeing her inspirational journey to follow her dreams and tackle whatever life throws her way!

Fence Issue 1 by C.S. Pacat + Johannah The Mad6.Fence #1 by C.S. Pacat + Johanna The Mad + Joana Lafuente

Owned| Read/Finished On January 20 | Rating: ★★★★☆ ½Fence Issue #1 Full Review

Overall Thoughts: 16-year old Nicholas Cox has the heart, but not exactly skill, for fencing. He’s worked from the basics and is eager to win the local tournament (Connecticut Regionals). The win from this competition could earn him a spot into a top school and allow him to receive a scholarship & continue with fencing if he is serious about pursuing it. His competition is none other than  Seiji Katayama, fencing prodigy. This first issue introduces so much from Nicholas’s past to his passion for fencing & the mysterious fencing prodigy. There is so much great development, action and dialogue that will keep you hooked! Its a brilliant start to a new comic series! (Honestly, there’s tons more I discuss in my full reviews that I can’t fully explain in this wrap-up, but I HIGHLY recommend checking out Fence 💙✨🤺)

Fence Issue 2 by C.S. Pacat + Johannah The Mad7.Fence #2 by C.S. Pacat + Johanna The Mad + Joana Lafuente

Owned| Read/Finished On January 20 | Rating: ★★★★☆ ½ Fence Issue #2 Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Fence #2 is very much build-up to Nicholas & Seiji’s dynamic when they begin at King’s Row and introduction to new characters on the fencing team. We definitely see the stakes set for not only the team, but Nicholas too (considering we learn there are a limited # of spots for the main team + upcoming championships). Both Issue #1 & #2 introduce characters of color + trans rep. & it does hint at gay rep.! The tension really builds in this issue and similar to Issue #1, will keep you hooked!

Fence Issue 3 by C.S. Pacat + Johannah The Mad8.Fence #3 by C.S. Pacat + Johanna The Mad + Joana Lafuente

Owned| Read/Finished On January 20 | Rating: ★★★★☆ ½Fence Issue #2 Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Fence #3 is easily my favorite issue in the series so far! There is much more character development/background + is a very plot-driven continuation! This issue very much follows Nicholas & not only his daily campus life on King’s Row, but his determination to prove himself before his first match against a classmate. The characters from Issue #2 are getting better developed as is the gay rep. The perfect pacing, development for plotting, characters, and slight twists + turns make Issue #3, such a brilliant addition to the Fence series!

Love Sugar Magic-A Dash Of Trouble by Anna Meriano9.Love Sugar Magic: A Dash Of Trouble by Anna Meriano (W/ Cover art by Mirelle Ortega)

Library | Started January 25 + Finished January 27 | Rating:★★★★★  | Love Sugar Magic: A Dash Of Trouble Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Easily one of the best middle-grade novels I have ever read! Themes of family and friendship, alongside a delightful writing that delivers a sweet and magical tale, Love Sugar Magic was a truly unforgettable read! The story follows Leo Logroño and she comes from a family of bakers, they run the Amor y Azúcar Panadería. She’s always felt left out of the family business + feels her mother + sisters are hiding something, so a day before the Día de los Muertos festival, she sneaks her way into the bakery to see what really goes on (she soon discovers she comes from a family of brujas, who use their powers within the bakery + their treats). Now that her oldest sister Isabel knows, Leo begins to use the powers within her & experiments with the special family recipe book. However as Leo begins to lie about using her abilities to the rest of her family, she soon gets into trouble & must make very important decisions. The magic system is one of my favorite aspects about this novel, it really builds and you see how unique it is for each member of Leo’s family. The plot is perfectly developed, the writing is beautiful, the characters are spectacular, & so much more!! Such a fantastic novel, I highly recommend it!

Additional Posts From This Month:

Latinx YA Book Releases To Add To Your TBR {2018}

What Books Did You Read This Month? 😄✨📚

You may have noticed, I never posted one for December. Well, that was mainly because of vacation, but also because as the months passed nearing the end of 2017 when making my monthly wrap-ups, I noticed that I began to lose my enjoyment for making/posting them because I felt like I had to (being a pretty common post in the book-community). While I do enjoy them I felt it was time to change up the review format a bit to add more to make a bit more personal (adding the format of the book + when I started/finished). And I think doing that really brought back my enjoyment for them~

So similar to this one, I may be trying out this new format for the upcoming monthly wrap-ups, but again I’m really liking how this one turned out! 😄✨📚📚💻~ But, feel free to let me know what you think of the new format in the comments!

Anchors & Vacancies by Kat Savage Review

Anchors & Vacancies by Kat SavageAnchors & Vacancies by Kat Savage

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Release Date: June 30, 2016

Pages: 50

Summary: Anchors & Vacancies is a 45 piece series originally titled “Left Atrium Anchors & Right Ventricle Vacancies” written in late 2014 and early 2015. It’s all the things we all hold onto, all the things we let anchor onto us, and all the things that leave us vacant.

My Rating:★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Anchors & Vacancies is a poetry collection which tackles the depth of heartbreak! The writing delivers such raw emotion as we follow a journey of heartbreak, loss + longing, and acceptance!

Ever year now, since about 2016 I’ve made it a tradition to have my first read of the year be a poetry book! They’re not only short and quick reads, but in general just always feel like the perfect reads to start off a new year!

Anchors & Vacancies had a fascinating summary and shortly after, made its way to my TBR about early last year. I bought myself a copy around March, but sadly never got around to it. Keeping that in mind, I knew this would be one of my first reads of 2018!

Savage portrays such deep emotion and the impact of loss through her words and it shows with each poem.

“There’s a certain kind of ache in the chambers of my heart…”

Told through 45 poems, we follow a journey through the trials of a love lost and how it impacts when one finds it difficult to let go.

While I could really understand and follow the complex web of emotion through each of the poems, aside from a few, many sadly just didn’t really connect or click with me on a personal level which made it difficult for me to find myself really immersed in some of the poems.

However regardless of that, I will definitely continue to read more of her work, because I really did enjoy her writing-style & found it to flow so well. She delivered such a complex stream of emotion with each poem!

Anchors & Vacancies is a raw and impactful collection of poetry that illustrates a love that has been lost and the journey one takes to heal!

Highly recommend this if your looking for a new poetry book to read! 📚✨❤

August 2017 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

Warcross by Marie Lu1.Warcross by Marie Lu (Warcross #1)

Warcross Full ARC Review

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR

Release Date: September 12, 2017

Pages: 368

My Rating:★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: Warcross was a masterpiece from start to finish! Emika is a bounty hunter and hacker! When she finds a way to hack herself into Warcross, she soon gets a call from its creator Hideo Tanaka. He needs her help to ensure the safety of Warcross from a possible hack and soon she’s in Tokyo taking part in Warcross herself. This book did not let me down! Marie Lu did a fantastic job with pacing, world-building, character development (+such a diverse cast <3), everything! Being a gamer myself, I loved the references and was immediately hooked from page 1! Warcross had the perfect amount of intrigue, action, and immersive plot +setting! Highly recommend picking up Warcross ❤ ❤

The Royal Tutor Volume 1 by Higasa Akai2. The Royal Tutor Vol. 1 by Higasa Akai

The Royal Tutor Volume 1 Full Review

Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: May 23, 2017

Pages: 192

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: The Royal Tutor easily became one of my new favorite manga series! It was fun, fast-paced, and so funny! Following Heine, this 1st volume centers around him meeting the princes and securing his role as their new tutor. The princes are all very different, so Heine learns more about them and how he can get them to accept him. Loved it so much & can’t wait for Volume 2! ❤ ❤

The Island At The End Of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave3. The Island At The End Of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Island At The End Of Everything Full Review

Publisher: Chicken House

Release Date: May 4, 2017

Pages: 288

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: This was a tale I won’t forget! Hargrave used such a poetic and lyrical 1st person POV that brought settings and characters to life. Taking place in 1900’s Phillipines, we follow Ami and her journey to return to her mother on Culion Island. They have been separated due to the spread of leprosy and a government official forcing those w/ + without leprosy to be separated and forced onto another island.  The Island At The End Of Everything is a tale of friendship, family, courage, and finding your way home!

Down Among The Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuire4.Down Among The Sticks And Bones (Wayward Children #2)

Down Among The Sticks And Bones Full Review

Publisher: Tor Books

Release Date: June 13, 2017

Pages: 189

My Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: This novel sets as more of a prequel and follows Jack & Jill (twin sisters) who are introduced in Every Heart A Doorway. Their parents have their own selfish desires for how they want their “perfect child” to be and because of that the twins undergo a journey wanting to better understand who they are when they get transported to the Moors. It was dark, whimsical, and atmospheric. While there was a large reason this book really resonated with me, I had some sort of disconnect with the writing (for me there was more showing than telling at times) and felt I loved the 1st book a little more. However, I will definitely be reading the final book to see how it wraps up!

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill5.Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill

Princess Princess Ever After Full Review

Publisher: Oni Press

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Pages: 56

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: This is sweet + diverse middle grade story that follows 2 princesses falling in love. Princess Sadie is trapped in a tower and when Princess Amira hears her call for help, she comes to the rescue. Soon after, the 2 travel across the kingdom in search of others to save and embark on an adventure. O’Neill puts clever twists and spins on classic fairy tale tropes and I loved that! There’s so many inspiring & positive messages in this novel, which is both fun and fast-paced!

Daughter Of The Burning City by Amanda Foody6.Daughter Of The Burning City by Amanda Foody

Daughter Of The Burning City Full Review

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release Date: July 25, 2017

Pages: 384

My Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: Sorina soon realizes her illusions are starting to get killed off, so she begins to investigate and figure out why. Foody delivers such a unique and creative concept and that is what I loved about DOTBC so much! I love reading from Sorina’s POV, getting the circus/carnival atmosphere, and was happy to see differing sexualities among the main cast! However, I felt the world-building could have been developed a little more and much was mentioned and not really expanded on. Regardless, there’s mystery, magic, politics, and a little romance dark and immersive debut!

Additional Posts From This Month:

~None This Month~

What books did you read this month? 😄📚✨

Down Among The Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuire Review

Down Among The Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuireDown Among The Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #2)

Publisher: Tor Books

Release Date: June 13, 2017

Pages: 189

Summary: Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

My Rating:★★★★☆ 

My Thoughts: Dark, gothic, and atmospheric, Down Among The Sticks An Bones is a a prequel which follows twins Jacqueline & Jillian and their adventures in the Moors set before the events of Every Heart A Doorway!

What I love about this series, is how McGuire is able to pack in so much story and character depth into such few pages! Every Heart A Doorway was just so unique and magical, I was happy to be getting more tales from this world💖~

Having a twin sister myself, I was beyond heartbroken at the forced separation that Jack & Jill were grown into from the very beginning and seeing the rift between them grow with each turn of the page. Reading passages of their resentment and just few feelings they had for each other, left me feeling so sad!

I felt the story started out completely strong with the background on their parents (Serena & Chester) and how their decision to have children really impacted how Jack & Jill would grow and see themselves. It really set the stage and tone for the rest of the story.

With their parents having their own selfish desires for what they wanted their perfect children to be, Lousie Wolcott (Chester’s mother) did her best with the time she spent with them to remind the girls to be themselves and not let anyone control who they want to become.

This quote resonated with me throughout the rest of the story “She had tried to make sure they knew that there were a hundred, a thousand, a million different ways to be a girl, and all of them were valid…(34).

Jack was molded by Serena and forced to be a proper lady in her mothers eyes, while Jill was forced to be more of a tomboy, by Chester. Up until the age of 12, they lived very different lives under the same roof and there was a rift between them because of it.

Later they soon find a doorway that leads them to the Moors and their 5 year journey begins.

Jack and Jill go their separate ways and undergo their own personal journey and we get a better understanding of who they are and how they try to break free of their parent’s molds.

Additionally there is an f/f relationship that develops nearing the middle/end of the novel!

I felt the 3rd person narrative really gave a broad scope at the world and each character in this story, which made it easy to get a sense of each character, Jack & Jill’s home life + their new life at the Moors. However, there’s just something about this novel (from the writing-style) that delivered a more “telling” rather than “showing” at times, which made the novel feel rather flat in some aspects.

While the story really did resonate with me, I couldn’t help but still feel a disconnect through the writing. Additionally, unlike Every Heart A Doorway, I felt this novel’s pacing felt much slower, which took me out of the story.

Honestly I have so many conflicting feelings about this book, because while there’s a lot that I really loved about it, I loved Every Heart A Doorway a little more~ 😭❤️🚪

Aside from those minor issues, there was still so much that I really loved about this novel. The uniqueness of the plot itself, the atmosphere of the world, and I also loved the positive messages about what it means to be a girl.

Down Among The Sticks And Bones introduces a much darker and brutal world compared to the first novella, it also delivers such powerful messages on who we are vs. what we become as a product of our environment.

Through thought-provoking writing, McGuire sets the stage for a dark but whimsical fairy tale-like world where the choices we make impact who we become.

While I had a few issues, I really enjoyed this sequel and cannot wait to read how this trilogy wraps up in Beneath A Sugar Sky!

I Am More Than A Daydream by Jennae Cecelia Review

I Am More Than A Daydream by Jennae CeceliaI Am More Than A Daydream by Jennae Cecelia

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Release Date: April 15, 2017

Pages: 74

Summary: How often do you daydream? For most, it is many times a day. We stare out the window instead of the task in front of us. We fantasize about where we would much rather be, the significant other we long for, our ideal job, the body we hope to see in the mirror, a healthier mindset, pure happiness in our lives and the lives of others, peace in this chaotic world. However, how many of us daydreamers believe these pleasant thoughts will truly turn into our reality? Daydreams are more than just short bursts of happiness that only our minds can see. I know I am more than a daydream; and you are, too.

My Rating:★★★★★

My Thoughts: I Am More Than A Daydream is inspirational, filled with messages of positivity, self-growth, and finding the confidence within yourself to follow your dreams!

Earlier this year I read Cecelia’s Uncaged Wallflower and adored it and I loved her latest collection just as much! ❤

Her poems always leave me feeling hopeful and inspired!

Discussing body image, following your dreams, and finding your inner strength, this latest collection reminds the reader that while we all are set on differing paths and may face obstacles along the way, that doesn’t mean we can’t overcome them to make our dreams come true!

If you haven’t read Cecelia’s collections, please do!
All throughout her poems she weaves in messages to inspire daily growth and positivity!!

Above all, I Am More Than A Daydream is a wonderful collection of poetry that reminds us that our daydreams can become reality!

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

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Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab Cover Reveal

What Did You Read This Month? 🙂

 

 

Wonder Women by Sam Maggs ARC Review

sam-maggs-25-innovators-oct-18Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors + Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Pages: 240

Summary: Ever heard of Allied spy Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim woman whom the Nazis considered “highly dangerous”? Or German painter and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian, who planned and embarked on the world’s first scientific expedition? How about Huang Daopo, the inventor who fled an abusive child marriage only to revolutionize textile production in China?

Women have always been able to change the world, even when they didn’t get the credit. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs introduces you to pioneering female scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors—each profile a study in passion, smarts, and stickto-itiveness, complete with portraits by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino, an extensive
bibliography, and a guide to present-day women-centric STEM organizations.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: *I requested this copy from the publisher! This in no way influences my thoughts!*

An inspiring read filled with stories of women who made tremendous impacts in the name of science, espionage and exploration!

Separated into different sections: Science, Medicine,Espionage, Innovation + Adventure, Maggs gives a wonderfully researched account of 25 women (plus additional short stories in between) who come from a variety of ethnic/cultural backgrounds, sexualities, etc. and details their accomplishments and the struggles they faced to get there.

Having read Women In Science by Rachel Ignotofsky, I was already aware of some of these women in the Science, Medicine+Adventure section. However, through Maggs’s novel I was given a lot more detail into theses women’s lives which was fascinating to learn more about.

I didn’t know about a majority of the other women mentioned which saddens me, considering many of these women sacrificed so much for their discoveries/inventions that I’ve known about my whole life, but never truly given much thought to how it came about. (Like the brown paper bag! I had no idea it was invented Margaret Knight until I read this book!)

However its great that a book like this is now out in the world to share these stories and educate us about women who’ve sadly been forgotten.

As for the writing, you can tell Maggs really researched these women’s lives and her passion for this project really shows! She also uses a unique way of writing these stories, through a modern tone of voice + fandom culture/references. I really liked that aspect to her writing and felt it made the novel overall fast-paced and engaging!

Once I reached the end, I was so sad, because I wanted to learn even more about women’s inspiring accomplishments!

Overall a wonderfully researched and inspiring novel that will keep you reading till the very end. Women have accomplished so much and their stories are brought to light, through Maggs’s collection.

 

September 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 5

sam-maggs-25-innovators-oct-181.Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors + Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs

ARC Review To Come 

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Pages: 240

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: An inspiring collection of stories that shares + celebrates the amazing  accomplishments of 25 women who, against all odds, changed the world! Highly recommend checking this book out ❤

Girl In Pieces August 302.Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Girl In Pieces Full Review

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 416

My Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: After using self-harm to free her of her pain, Charlie wants to start a new life for herself. Handling many tough topics + through a unique writing style, Glasgow’s debut delivers a powerful and inspiring read as Charlie undergoes a journey to put herself back together. Highly recommend!

Stalking Jack The Ripper Sept. 20, 20163.Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (SJTR#1)

*Debuted @ #1 on NYT Bestellers List*

Stalking Jack The Ripper ARC Review

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Pages: 336

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: This is a dark/immersive mystery that will keep you  turning the page! Maniscalco’s 1st person POV brings the characters/world of Victorian England to life. Audrey is such a delightful + engaging main character that really makes you feel connected/part of this mystery trying find Jack The Ripper! Highly recommend!

Unscripted Joss Byrd August 234.Unscripted  Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Unscripted Joss Byrd Full Review

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Release Date: August 23, 2016

Pages: 224

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A delightful coming-of-age story about a young actress who is trying to find herself in the bustles of Hollywood. So many topics are discussed in this novel + characters/character development are the heart of this moving contemporary.

Crooked Kingdom Sept. 27, 20165.Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (SOC #2)

Crooked Kingdom Spoiler-Free Review 

Publisher: Henry Holt &Co.

Release Date: September 27, 2016

Pages: 546

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Bardugo masterfully concludes her Six Of Crows duology! With Six of Crows, the world wasn’t as developed as I had hoped. However, the world of Ketterdam in Crooked Kingdom is greatly expanded + developed! Along with the world-building, character development is a huge part of this novel. This finale as with SOC, is filled with an exquisite writing style that really transports readers to this magical world + non-stop action and plot will keep you reading to the very end!

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes I #6

A Torch Against The Night Playlist + Kingdom Of Ash And Briars Playlist

September 2016 Book Releases

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maureene Goo Cover Reveal

Supporting Diversity In YA {Book Blog Discussion}

Kingdom Of Ash & Briars by Hannah West ARC Review {August 2016 Wrap-Up}

Top 10 Tuesday: Podcasts

What Books Did You Read This Month? 🙂

 

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco ARC Review

Stalking Jack The Ripper Sept. 20, 2016Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (SJTR #1)

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Pages: 336

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world. 

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts:*Picked up an early copy during BN Buzz Fest*

A dark/immersive murder mystery with twists/turns that will keep you turning the page!

I loved this book so much! ❤

In terms of characters, they are all wonderfully written/developed. With this novel being written in first person, through Audrey’s eyes you really feel connected with them and the relationships Audrey has with her family/friends.

There is also great character development between Audrey and many characters! One of those is between Audrey and her father. He is seen as a cold and rather distant person and doesn’t approve of her love for science/forensics.

I absolutely loved reading from Audrey’s POV! She was smart, witty + overall an incredible main character. I loved the elements of feminism in this story! ❤ It was inspiring to read how passionate she was + continued to do what she loved regardless of what others thought! She isn’t what her aunt/father expect a young lady to be, with societal expectations, etc., but she doesn’t let it stop her.

Aside from Audrey I also loved Thomas Cresswell! The banter between them was so much fun to read + their relationship is wonderfully written!

Written in an almost diary format, the author does a fantastic job at creating the atmosphere of Victorian England and really makes you feel as though you are there with Audrey finding Jack.

I will admit there are moments of slow pacing + for me I felt it was in the beginning mostly and towards the middle, however once you get through those the plot really picks up and the espionage/intrigue keeps you turning the page.

The author took this murder mystery in unique directions & really keeps you guessing on who the killer is! I had so many theories & the author overall does a great job on keeping the mystery suspenseful + unexpected!

Overall the author creates such vivid characters & delivers a fun/mysterious plot that will keep you guessing!

The ending wraps up quite nicely and hints towards a great sequel! ❤

Highly recommend if you are a fan of Ally Carter, The Diviners or are just looking for an immersive murder mystery to dive into!

 

Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow Review

Girl In Pieces August 30Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 416

Summary: Charlotte Davis is in pieces.

At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

My Rating:★★★★☆ 

My Thoughts:4/4.5!! Still deciding on a rating!

A raw & powerful read about a girl who undergoes a journey to put herself back together.

Charlotte “Charlie” Davis has been through a lot. She’s lost her father, her best friend and suffered from a difficult home life with her mother.

She finds that the only way she can be free of her pain is to self-harm.

Glasgow delivers a raw and powerful debut novel that taught me more about what people who self-harm go through and the struggles/obstacles they can face mentally, etc. when trying to recover.

She doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects/topics and in turn, it really evokes emotion and delivers such a realistic story.

The story starts off with Charlie in a psychiatric clinic where she, along with other women, are being treated due to self-harm. After spending quite some time there, she is able to leave and hopes to heal and begin a new chapter in her life.

This novel shows Charlie’s road to recovery and the obstacles she must face to get there.

The novel is told in a unique first person POV. I will admit the writing took me a while to get used to. It took around 50+ pages or so to get into the writing style and really immerse myself into the story and there were small moments here and there where I felt the plot could have moved a little faster. (Hence the 4/4.5).

Regardless the writing style flows well with the story being told and as the the novel progressed I found myself rereading sentences/passages b/c they beautifully written & evoked such emotion!

There were moments where I felt the topics were too much for me to read personally and had to take breaks while reading the book. But overall it showed me just how powerful Glasgow’s writing was!

The characters themselves are all very well written and have such depth that I could really see these characters through Charlie’s eyes.

The relationship Charlie develops with Riley one of the main characters was done well. I will admit over the course of the story I struggled to connect with Riley’s character and found moments when they faced issues/struggles in their relationship was difficult to read at times.

This novel was Charlie’s journey to find herself and create a new and better life. While I don’t usually read novels with subjects such as this one, I found many underlying messages that people could relate to who not only self-harm, but also may feel alone or unsure of who they are in the world.

2 important message I found throughout this novel were: You are not alone and can always find people who understand & help you. + No matter what difficulties/obstacles you face you can find the strength to keep moving forward.

I also found elements of feminism which was very inspiring! There are moments when Charlie struggles to find her voice + feels powerless but finds a way to speak her mind!

Overall this was a powerful read that deals with a number of tough topics and handles them in a realistic way. It also provides deep and moving messages about hope and putting yourself back together when all seems lost.

Have you read Girl In Pieces or are planning to?

Lets Discuss In The Comments Below! 🙂