ARC Review: The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

 

Title: The Becoming of Noah Shaw

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Series: The Shaw Confessions #1

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Release: November 7, 2017

Pages: 384

In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.

Trigger warning: suicide/suicidal thoughts, self-harm, assault, victim blaming, death of teens, ill humor.

THE BECOMING OF NOAH SHAW was definitely a bit of a surprise. I had no idea what to think going into this book about what this was even going to be about. Because of the way the Maray Dyer trilogy ended, I felt like this book was a bit unnecessary, but because Noah Shaw is a gift I decided I needed to it. However, I still feel a little confused about where this new spin off is going and why it was even needed? The entire plot felt a little lack luster and underwhelming. Even though I loved being inside Noah’s head and his POV was definitely something I enjoyed more than Mara Dyer, I wish the story moved a little faster.

The book takes place some time after RETRIBUTION OF MARA DYER, where Noah’s evil father has “committed suicide” and while they are at his funeral, Noah and Mara discover a dead body of a fellow Gifted teen who presumably killed himself. As more and more deaths of Gifted teens turn up, the gang discover new secrets. Noah begins doubting Mara and if he can even trust her. Being inside Noah’s head was definitely something I didn’t expect. He is more morbid and it broke my heart. He truly loves Mara more than anything so it hurt when he began to doubt her actions (although completely understandable).

THE BECOMING OF NOAH SHAW was entertaining to read, but a little too slow for my taste. I look forward to seeing where this new spin off will go because of that cliffhanger, but it’s not really something I am super excited for. I am thankful that we get more Noah Shaw though because Noah is perfect.

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

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

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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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Surprise surprise 😉

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

 

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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Title: History is All You Left Me

Author: Adam Silvera

Publisher: SoHo Teen

Released: January 17, 2017

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, LGBT+

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

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When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

review

This is the moment of the end. This is where we give up hope on reversing time, where we abandon finding a cure to death, where we live in this Theo-less universe, where we say goodbye.

Adam Silvera is a special. There is nothing that makes me feel more than an Adam Silvera novel. I don’t know how he does it, but his writing and storytelling are truly captivating. I haven’t cried this much while reading a novel in a long time. This was special. This was raw. This was truly beautiful.

History is All You Left Me is told in two timelines, history and today. Our story follows four boys: Griffin, Theo, Wade, and Jackson. All dealing with love and loss and grief. Griffin is struggling with the death of his first love of his life, Theo, all while dealing with his own secrets and compulsions that have seemed to worsen. Griffin is suffering. He’s broken and walking through like “like a zombie” so to speak. When he meets Theo’s boyfriend, Jackson, at Theo’s funeral an unlikely bond begins to blossom. Griffin and Jackson lean on each other because they are the only two that know, and understand, what the other is really feeling and going through.

Griffin is a special character. I felt for him. Not only was he still heartbroken over his and Theo’s breakup, but he was struggling with Theo’s death. Theo was the love of Griffin’s life and when you see their story unfold in “history” I was truly heartbroken. I was sad for these two lovely guys who felt like they were endgame.

What really pulled me into the story was how real it felt. I didn’t for once think I was just reading a book about someone going through a loss. I felt it. History feels personal, it’s very human and real. When book can make me tear up on page one, you know it’s special. By the end, I couldn’t even count how many times this book reduced me to nothing but a puddle of tears!
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Griffin’s pain is not only heartbreaking, but so is Jackson’s. So is Wade’s. You feel so much for these boys who are struggling and have no idea what to do or how to deal with what’s been handed to them.

People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished. Sometimes that’s for the best.

If you’re ready for a very emotional, but enlightening read, you need to pick up History immediately. I cannot recommend it enough. It’s beautiful and unforgettable.

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I am not going to say too much because this review will turn into a blubbering mess filled with nothing but crying gifs and yelling to read this book. Seriously.

rating25Star

 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release: April 7, 2015

Pages: 320

 

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Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

review

I am in love with this book ❤ Absolutely in love.

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Seriously, I cannot stop gushing. This book definitely lives up to the hype, which I was nervous about when I decided to read it. I wanted to love it as much as everyone else. And I did. Then some. This book is just…so important. It’s message is clear and a wonderful story of coming out and being who you are. I cannot stop thinking about Simon and Blue and how incredibly brave and wonderful they are! Their emails had me swooning and giggling like a little girl!

No joke, family asked me repeatedly why I was laughing so much.
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First of all, this book is filled so many great relationships! Simon has the best of friends. Nick and Abby and Leah and Blue! and his wonderful family? I love them all so much. His family was supporting and great. When Simon brought up his dad’s gay jokes, he immediately apologized and his mom wanted to gush and know everything about Simon and who he was talking to. Seriously, the best. I am so glad that Albertalli included this in the story. It gave it so much more meaning. Plus, all the Harry Potter references!

Simon begins an online friendship with someone he doesn’t know the identity of online through his school’s Tumblr. They begin a close relationship coming to terms with their sexuality and helping each other with coming out to their families. All while not knowing who the other person is. When the emails turn into flirting is when the fun really starts. it’s so funny how Simon couldn’t see what was right in front of him. I am so glad I turned out to be right about who Blue was because I was so excited!

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I am trying so much not to talk about spoilers because all I want to do is fangirl over those last 30 pages! SO. DANG. CUTE.

I do have one complaint though. There was such a lack of description of the characters that I had such a hard time picturing them. I could picture one person perfectly and maybe Abby a little bit due to her skin color. But that was it. That was a little disappointing.

If you haven’t read this book yet, YOU REALLY NEED TO!

rating25Star