February Wrap Up ’17

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February was a pretty good month for me. I read a few audio books, graphic novels, and eARCs. A pretty good mixture I’d say.

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fangirlrr  everythingleads  inexplicable

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  • Fangirl | 3 stars – This book was good, but the plot was too slow for me. It’s very much character driven but I kept zoning out a few times. Also I don’t remeber if I included this in my wrap up last month? I finished it at the beginning of February but I don’t remember.
  • Everything Leads to You | 4 stars – This book was all kinds of cute! I loved it.
  • Aristotle and Dante | 4 stars – I am glad I finally picked up this book! I am so in love with Ari and Dante!
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life | 3 stars – After some thought I realized I had a few problems with this book and had to drop my rating to 3 stars. Though I still very much liked the story and the characters, there was too many stereotypes and offensive sentences. They bothered while reading and I failed to mention them in my review. I updated my review so if you’re interested, you can read it here.
  • The Bone Witch | DNF – I forgot to picture this book because I ended up having to DNF it. I didn’t finish this book because I was too confused and it was too slow to keep my interest. I am bummed. You can read my review here

The audio books

cityofglass  13reasonstherunawayqueen

  • City of Glass | 5 stars – reread and I loved it!
  • 13 Reasons Why | 2 stars – I didn’t like this book. I don’t even know why Hannah included Clay in her little tapes game. Oh well, I just wanted to read it before the tv show.
  • The Runaway Queen | 1 star – oof this was also a reread and I only listened to it because I don’t remember much about the bane chronicles. But listening through this I quickly remembered why I didn’t like this novella lol. It was just so boring. The novellas that included TID were my favorite and I should have just listened to those instead. But this was narrated by Athelstan from Vikings so I am not completely complaining 😉

The graphic novels

nimona msmarvelv1 irl

Nimona | 4 stars – SO CUTE! I loved the story and the artwork!

Ms Marvel Vol 1 | 4 stars – OH MY GOD THIS WAS FANTASTIC!  I loved that Ms. Marvel is a Muslim teen and this it’s fantastic that she is included. I can’t wait to read more because I am ashamed how behind I am.

In Real Life | 3 stars – this was cute. I enjoyed the artwork but I felt like the plot was a little flat. The ending was too quickly resolved. Which I guess is okay considering it;s a graphic novel but I don’t know. Still entertaining though.

the Poetry

milkandhoney

I absolutely loved the little doodles that went with some poems and thought they added a special touch. However, some poems didn’t really scream original to me. Some were just a small sentence of things that I’ve seen quotes twitters tweet over and over. But I still really liked this poetry collection and can’t wait to read more.

pandadividers

Well there you have it. What was your favorite book in feb? have you read any of these books before? lets discuss xxoo

 

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

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thebonewitchhhTitle: The Bone Witch

Author: Rin Chupeco

Published: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal

Release:  March 7, 2017

Pages: 400

 

synopsis2

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

review

While The Bone Witch could be a fantastic fantasy with great world building and characters, it did not work for me. I found this book to be very bland and too slow to hold my interest. The book is told from two POVs: an older, mysterious Tea recanting her story to a young Bard and a younger Tea from the past when she first discovers she’s a bone witch. While, I would normally really enjoy something like this book had to offer I could not get into it. The writing was too descriptive (if you can believe it) and I found myself mostly skimming over certain parts just to move the story forward. I hate doing this. I really want to lose myself in a story, but once I find myself doing this I know it’s going to be hard for me to keep pushing myself to finish the story.

Why I had to DNF

Nothing happens. I could take nothing happening if the writing was engaging and the characters were brillaint, but when I couldn’t get a feel for either of these I found myself drifting and thinking of other things.
Special Snowflake Syndrome. Right from the start Tea is said to be special and the one to bring change. She’s rare. Of course, she is. *yawn*
-Boring characters with no real personality that I could see. At first I was really interested in Tea and Fox, but the second she raises her brother from the dead and Tea is whisked away to learn to be a bone witch, I just didn’t care anymore? It’s like the plot ended and everything that was interesting along with it.
Info-dumping and poor world-building. What I thought would have been an interesting magic system I fould a little dull? The introduction to heartglass and the different colors to identify different types of witches should have been really cool, but it just didn’t hold enough interest for me, sadly.

It saddens me that I just didn’t like this book because I see so many others have said that it was really good (though still confusing) but I couldn’t bring myself to push through. I hear that the second half is just as slow (if not slower) and I am just not here for that. I am sorry. Maybe I can try to audiobook someday and have better results, but for now….DNF.

If you’re looking for a dark fantasy, then by all means give this a try but it was just not my cup of tea.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

logicoflifereview

inexplicableTitle: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Publisher:  Clarion Books

Released: March 7, 2017

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Pages: 464

Format: eARC

synopsis2

From the multi-award-winning author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe comes a gorgeous new story about love, identity, and families lost and found.

Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican-American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

This humor-infused, warmly humane look at universal questions of belonging is a triumph.

review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own.

EDIT: After careful thought, I have changed my rating and review of this book. Additions and chagnes are marked by *

After I read Aristotle and Dante  I knew I had to get my hands on Benjamin Alire Sáenz new book immediately. His poetic, thought provoking writing instantly captured me and this book did not disappoint. It feels very much like Ari and Dante with the big existentialist crises. finding your place in the world, and figuring out what type of person you want to me. The  Inexplicable Logic of My Life will make you cry, laugh, and feel so much love for these characters whose emotions practically drip off the page.

While, this book has no real plot (it is very character driven) I found it very entertaining. Sal and his best friend Sam are going through their senior year of high school when life throws them some pretty hard curve balls. Now dealing with death and grief plus all the very normal teenage obstacles Sal and Sam must figure out what to do and who they want to be. The way these characters deal with grief was so inspiring and real.

Salvador was raised by his gay father, Vicente, who took him in when his mother died when he was three. Sal is struggling. He doens’t know who his mother was. He doesn’t remember her. Plus he has no idea who the man who shares his genes is. Or if he wants to. While Sal felt very much like Ari did (his voice was almost the same in my opinion) I felt for him. He is lost and suddenly he has this anger inside of him that he doesn’t know where it came from and is scared that he’s turning into some unrecognizable. And bad.

Sal has one of the best families I have seen in a while in a contemporary. Vicente is seriously Dad Goals. He is so understanding, yet protective. He gives Sal the space he needs to figure stuff out all while still being there for him. He literally adopts every one of Sal’s friends just because they need a father and someone to love them. My heart is so filled with love because of Vicente. I honestly would love to spend the day with Sal, Sam, Fito, Vicente, Mima, and Marcos because they are all so amazing and trust me, you’ll fall in love with them.

While I would have liked a more direct plot (and maybe 100ish less pages) I  enjoyed this book. It broke my heart a few times while reading it  which led to some tears, but I am so glad I was given the chance to read this.

*However, there were a few problems that I didn’t like at all. First of all, Sam was a bitch. She was arrogant and so full of herself. Sal constantly narrates that Sam “wasn’t like other girls” and pretty much justifies her actions and calling every other girl a bitch, when she is must worse. She has an awful attitude and berates Sal whenever he begins to “not act like himself.” Yeah, no kidding. He has stuff going on, Sam! Then when something awful happens to her and Sal says he wants to punch the guy who “hurt” her she gets upset when he does just that. I won’t say any spoilers, but Sal wanting to punch this guy’s lights out is completely understandable. What isn’t understandable? Sam accepting his apology as if he just kissed another girl in front of her. No. This guy is scum and she shouldn’t have been within 2 feet of him! Another problem, I hated all the stereotypes and terms that I found a bit offensive, such as “for a gay guy, my dad was pretty straight.” That kind of made me really sad to read. Especially coming from the author that wrote Ari and Dante.

*Though I did have some problems and acknowledge it’s problematic material, I did enjoy it for its rep and diverse cast. I appreciate the display of grief. But I have to say that Ari and Dante is still my favorite.

 

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Gilded Cage by Vic James | ARC Review

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gildedcageTitle:  Gilded Cage

Author: Vic James

Series: Dark Gifts #1

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Release: February 14, 2017

Genre: Young Adult  Fantasy

Pages: 368

synopsis2

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

review

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own*

Reading the synopsis, I couldn’t wait to read this book. I wanted to get lost in world of magic, but that’s not what I got. I got confusion and a lot of info-dumping with switching POVs.

This book takes place in an alternate England where those born without Skills are to serve their slavedays for 10 years to the Equals (those with Skills). The slavedays can be completed anytime during one’s life after 10 years old. I found this disturbing though I understand the importance to discuss this issue. I just didn’t feel like it was executed properly. It felt a little sloppy.

Though the plot was promising and interesting (I loved the concept of the Skills) this book suffered some detachment issues. No one character really shone any light or held any emotional connections. The romance (if you want to call it that) suffered as well. We see two characters who don’t even interact with each other seem to have developed feelings behind the scenes? Show me their attraction. Don’t  just tell me. I didn’t buy their crushes on each other for one second so I didn’t even care for what happened at the end.  I could blame it on my mood, but I did not enjoy this book. If I can’t find any connection to at least one character, the experience is fraught.

This book suffered with too many POVs. I think I would have liked it better if it just focused on Abi and Luke. In fact, those were the POVs that gave me the most story. When you bring in a brand new POV 40% in the story for only one chapter I will most definitely wonder “what was the point in that?” I am not one to complain about too many POVs because I read A Game of Thrones and it works when everything serves a purpose. However, most of them just seemed to be thrown in there randomly and too convenient (example: Bouda). Bouda didn’t serve much purpose for me and I found myself skimming her chapter almost entirely.

I really wanted to like this book. The premise sounded interesting and fun. but there was too much info-dumping that wasn’t smooth. Plus, correct me if I’m wrong, but there wasn’t much diversity in this book? I think I found only one PoC and his role was very minor. Sadly, this was a miss.

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January Wrap Up

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A little late for my wrap up, but better late than never! I know i know. I use that excuse a lot! But in my defense, I didn’t even realize January was over a few days ago haha. Anyway, January brought me so many reads I am proud of myself! I started the year off pretty well!

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  • When Life Gets in the Way by Ines Vieira | 3 stars
    this book was cute. I enjoyed it. If you want to read my review, please check out my review.
  • Torn by Alice Ward | 1 star
    If I could give this 0 stars I would. This book was so terrible! It’s about a woman who meets a guy while in Thailand and they have a hot connection. Knowing she is in need of a job he makes some calls and get her an assistant job with one of the most successful companies in the city. Honestly I don’t even remember names or places in this book because it was so awful that I wanted to wipe it from my brain. this was a free kindle book and the only reason why i read. I am disappointed. This book sells you on the idea that this girl is torn between these two brothers (twins), but she wasn’t. 80% of the book one twin wasn’t even around and she was hooking up with the other twin. I honestly don’t know why she was so torn and struggling with who she was in love with because one of them wasn’t even there! And when he was? Blah. Awful awful awful.
  • Ps I Like You by Kasie West | 4 stars
    This was a reread via audio book. I really enjoyed reading it again and seeing Kaede again. Such a cute ending!
  • Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes | 3 stars
    Though, I liked this book it felt like nothing really moved the story further. Plus, My Magleo (is that the ship name?) heart is hurting! 😥
  • Get it Together Delilah by Erin Gough | 2 stars
    SO BORING! I thought I would get a cute f/f romance, but no. I wasn’t sold. My review will be up closer to the release.
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | 5 stars
    Okay, we all know this is my new current favorite book. I loved it so much I read it twice. Honestly, if you haven’t read this book yet read it right now!
  • History is All You Left Me by Adam SIlvera | 5 stars
    SO MANY TEARS!!!! Adam Silvera really knows how to pull at my heartstrings and make me miserable while loving it at the same time. Read this book. Now. 
  • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare | 4 stars
    Another reread via audio book. Fun being back with the shadowhunters. I missed Jace. I missed Simon and Magnus and Alex and Izzy. ❤
  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo | 3 stars
    Okay book. I don’t really know what else to say.
  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver | 2 stars
    BORING. BORING. So repetitive and dull. I think it would be better for a movie than a book. The repeat day got so tiring and I started skimming. Also, the ending with Kent??? Really made me mad. Really made me mad. She could have just left him alone.

Phew, there. I know this isn’t as much as some of you guys probably read but for me it was a lot. I didn’t even realize how much I read until I put it all together! I am so proud of myself. I hope February is just as good! 🙂 Wow I just realized I read mostly nothing but contemporary this month. That’s a first!

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simon

Surprise surprise 😉

pandadividers
what was your favorite book in january? comment below, i’d love to know! xxoo