Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Song Of The Moment- All For Love by Lady Antebellum

23310761Tonight The Streets Are Ours
by Leila Sales
Release date: Septemeber 15, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads Link

From the author of This Song Will Save Your Life comes a funny and relatable book about the hazards of falling for a person you haven't met yet.
Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she's tired of being loyal to people who don't appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom. 
Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called "Tonight the Streets Are Ours," the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.
During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn't exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn't exactly who she thought she was, either.


My Rating:


Review:

Tonight The Streets Are Ours... I had high hopes for this one, I loved This Song Will Save Your Life and this one sounds amazing and I LOVE the title and the cover and I was...disappointed. I guess this was a coming of age story, a story of self-discovery, a story about learning to let yourself grow and that it's okay to change, it's okay to be selfish. And it's a really great coming of age story and it's nowhere near your average coming of age story which I loved. But it's also not full of adventure and fun like I was expecting.

Arden is recklessly loyal. Meaning, her whole life she's believed that loving someone is like writing them a blank check and promising to always be there for them even when she didn't want to be. Arden loves people and she helps them, so what if they aren't there for her, that just means she loves them more than they love her. And that's fine? Right? But for the first time ever, Arden's starting to doubt whether that's true.

 A pet peeve of mine is the way in which this is written. It's third person first of all, and that contributed to my problem, which was it felt detached from our main character Arden. It didn't feel like we were in her head and it didn't feel like we knew who she was, and it just never came together, clicked, the way I wanted it too.

And, for me, it just felt like the bigest part of this book was set up and backstory, all leading up to something that wasn't that big of a thing, in the end? We see lots and lots of Arden is there for everyone, sacrificing herself when they never asked her too. We see Arden and the boyfriend who doesn't love her. Her best friend(who I loved) who doesn't appreciate her. Her mom who left her. Then we see her find this blog, Tonight The Streets Are Ours. I didn't even really get the point of Peter, he didn't play as big a part as I wanted, it was weird and I hated him. the whole blog thing just seemed really weird, I never even understood why Arden was obsessed with it? There wasn't a lot of plot, there was a lot of just, this is your average person, this is what she does. Where was the adventure? The plot?

And does every character who wants to be a writer (Peter) have to be so pretentious about it? Peter is too whiny about his perfect life and Arden is annoying and they're both super needy and ergh. I honestly loved Arden and her recklessly loyal ways, though. Sure she's part your average good girl but she's also new and different.

I just wanted MORE. More from the story, more from the characters, more. I thought Peter would play a bigger part. I thought there'd be adventure. There was just never a moment that I felt this book really clicked together. Writing, story, and character wise. It felt like 75% of the book was back story and lead up, all to an end that wasn't all that exciting and fulfilling.

This book is very quiet and unique and full of lessons and I feel like maybe some of my issues with it were just me expecting something different and that's not really the book's fault. If you're looking for adventure and a love story don't look here. If you want a unique coming of age story told in a unique way, pick up Tonight The Streets Are Ours, just don't expect a bunch of adventure and fun, it's a realistic story that lacks those fictional things I love in Ya contemporary (true love and happily ever after, adventure).

I really did enjoy this book, It was fun and fast paced and reminded me of why I love Lelia Sales but...nothing ever happened. For 200+ pages nothing but backstory and lead up.  I have to give the author props for writing one of the most unique stories I've read, with one of the most unique main characters. I just didn't connect with the characters and the story, for me the writing was too disconnected and felt removed from Arden, making it hard to really understand her. I do recommend this book because it's still a good book, a quick read that I don't regret and hopefully you can connect with the characters and story more than I did.

Overall: I enjoyed this book in the basic sense, I just didn't love it. It never seemed to fully come together and I wanted more from it. I do still recommend it if it sounds like something you'd enjoy.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Street Team: Never Never by Brianna Shrum Review+Giveaway!

Song Of The Moment- Somewhere In Neverland by All Time Low

Never Never
24517738by Brianna Shrum 
Release date:
Format: ARC
Genre:
Goodreads Link

James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.
When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.
But grow up he does. 
And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.
This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.
Except one. 
*I received an advanced copy of this book to review honestly

My Rating:


Review:

One day, while wishing to grow older and be a man, James Hook meets Peter Pan. James is immediately drawn to the Pan, wanting to be friends, wanting to go with him to Neverland, wanting, for the first time in his life, to never grow up. But only for a little while, a vacation to Neverland and then back to London, Peter promises. Only, the Pan doesn't keep promises, he makes the rules and everybody loves him for it. Even James, except he can't always forget everything, the deaths of the pirates, the glee on Peter's face when he does evil things, he can't forget it the way Peter does...

Okay, so I really loved a lot of this book but I was also confused, disappointed with the ending, and I couldn't always connect and understand the characters. While I loved reading it and I couldn't put the book down, I feel like, in certain aspects, this one didn't quite reach its full potential.

A Few Of My Favorite Things:

- Peter Pan. I've read a few retellings of Peter Pan and none of them have had such a unique take on the character himself. and I loved it so much. He's kind of evil, yes, which I loved. But also, it's easy to love him just like all the inhabitants of Neverland do and he's such a complex character, I only wish we could've seen a little more of him.

- Tiger Lily. Tiger Lily is my favorite Peter Pan character and I was so happy to see she played quite a big part in this one. Also again, she is such a complex character, she lacked some development but at the same time she's so multifaceted and complicated and, feels, okay? Feels.

- FEELS. There's no doubt that this book brings the feels, in plot twisty ways that I'd never have expected from this. The book goes a lot deeper into the characters than I'd expected and just shows you Neverland and Peter and Hook in ways you wouldn't really expect, I think.

- The WRITING. It's amazing, that's all.

A Few Of My Not So Favorite Things:

- The pacing. I loved the pacing because it was fast and I was never bored. However, I was very confused. You see, James Hook is growing up and aging and time is weird in Neverland, so it jumps. Neverland's days pass but it can be longer or shorter than a real day, and Hook gets older randomly and I was so confused. In my head, I would picture Hook as you know, like twenty, twenty-five, then he'd act like he was still a little kid. And I get it, it's Neverland, the author did an amazing job of showing all of that and it's...realistic that it would work that way. He's randomly aging, of course he still feels like a kid sometimes, but it contributed majorly to me not connecting with Hook and his character.

- James Hook belongs on my least favorite things and my most, because he's probably the most complex and complicated character I've ever read about. Having said that, I put him here because I never really understood where he was coming from or going. he flip-flopped and I just never understood him. At times it was clearer, in the beginning and the end, but I just felt disconnected and I wanted to understand him and his story so much more.

- Wendy Darling. Honestly, this is the only book I've read where I liked Wendy... So, why is she here? Because I don't think she met her potential.

That's the thing, this book was awesome and I loved reading it but at the end, I feel like there could've been so much more.


Overall: I am conflicted. On the one hand, I really enjoyed this, but I think what it boils down to in the end is, despite all its awesomeness, I wanted more. It kind of jumped around and, maybe highlighted the wrong things? I loved all the romance, I did, I was constantly rushing reading to get to those chapters, but I wanted more of Peter and even Hook himself. Despite all these complex, unique characters, you don't really understand them, and I guess it's supposed to be that way? I can't honestly say it would be better differently, but it's like the plot points and the conclusion and all that, was so disjointed that I didn't feel the littlest bit content with the ending.

Having said that, I really do recommend this book, I will probably read it again honestly and hope I can connect to it better a second time. It's a fast-paced book with amazing characters, and a unique take on Peter Pan, so at the very least all Neverland fans need to read it. =)

Giveaway!
Enter for the chance to win a finished copy of Never, Never!




About The Author:
Brianna Shrum lives in Colorado with her high-school-sweetheart turned husband and her two little boys. She's been writing since she could scrawl letters, and has worked with teens since she graduated out of teenager-hood, either in the writing classes she taught, or working with the youth group. Brianna digs all things YA, all things geeky, superhero-y, gamery, magical, and strange.
Her debut YA, Never Never, releases in September of this year. Her second YA, How to Make Out, releases in Fall 2016. She'd totally love to connect with you, so come say hi on her website or Twitter!
Visit her Website at briannashrum.com
Follow her on Twitter @briannashrum



Friday, September 25, 2015

The Best Reading Seasons

In my expert opinion, fall and winter are the best seasons, okay? Not only just in general but when it comes to reading. Why? Because in the summer you are dying from the heat and can't concentrate enough to read but during the winter it's freezing and you have a nice warm blanket and want to do All The Reading.

So, why are fall and winter the best reading seasons?

Because: Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin spice mix can be bought at the store, however, you most likely have all you need to make it at home. From inspiredtaste.net | @inspiredtaste:

Because: Rain

Reading in the Rain:

Because: Warm blankets, snow, and fire places

tumblr_mptrqfZCFG1qfndl6o1_500.jpg 500×705 pixels:

Because: Harry Potter

Hogwarts / Christ Church Oxford at Christmas:

Because: Look outside, the world is pretty again

A country road wanders away into a tunnel of autumn trees. This image was captured in northern Michigan near Cadillac, Michigan, USA.:

Because: Candles

Bath and Body Works Fall 2015 Candles Launch:

Because: hot chocolate and apple cider

I made this cider for Christmas Eve service at church and it was the first thing gone. I reduced the sugar to 1 Tsb. and after heating it on the stove, transferred it to a crock pot, taking the orange out, and adding another orange (sliced) and another pinch of nutmeg after transferring it to a crockpot.:

Because: Left over Halloween candy

Google Image Result for http://celebrateanddecorate.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/6057055295_6491f6ee32.jpeg:


Okay, I've made my point, I think. So what's your favorite reading season?

*all pictures link to sources on Pinterest!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Young Elites Review and Villain IdentityTag!

Song Of The Moment- Bad Blood by Taylor Swift (because, duh)

20821111The Young Elites
by Marie Lu
Release date: 2014
Format: paperback
Genre: YA...Fantasy?
Goodreads Link

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. 
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. 
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
*I received this book from the publisher to review honestly!

My Rating:



Review:

I'm sure most of you have heard of this book by now, and of this phenomenal author, plus I just don't think I could explain if I tried so I'll skip over most of my synopsis. Basically, this book follows Adelina, who was marked by a deadly illness when she was young. Known as a Malfetto, people like Adelina are thought to be unnatural, demons. All her life her father has hated her for this and for the fact that she's useless. Where some Malfettos (deemed the Young Elites) have powers, Adelina has never shown the slightest hint of possessing her own. Until the fateful night she tries to run away...

I really enjoyed this book, Adelina is a strong and unique unreliable character, she has that whole crazy/might be evil thing going for her but also she's just really confused and hurt and not really sure what's going on or what to do. Thumbs up for crazy unreliable narrators and awesome powers that I've never read about before. On the other hand though... I couldn't really connect with her. I don't think you're necessarily supposed to, but I just didn't feel much for her and by association the other characters.

This book is really fast paced and there's never a dull moment, the writing is intense and breathtaking. But the world and plot were...not really confusing just not fully fleshed out, I think. There wasn't a lot of world building, so you basically, I feel, get to known the minimum amount. Just what was absolutely necessary so that the reader isn't 100% confused. I liked it because it fit Adelina and the story, and kept things fresh and fast paced but also, I just felt disconnected from the story and the characters and everything that was going on. It didn't feel as life threatening as it could've.

I feel like I'm talking about a lot of downsides but they're not necessarily downsides. On the one hand, I loved all these things but on the other it made me feel a bit disconnected from the story.

I loved the powers and how unique them and the whole world was, I wanted a little more but I'm expecting that to come in the sequel so that could balance everything out. I loved how dark and gritty this book was and that there really wasn't one cliche in the characters and story. Full of twists and surprises and you never really know if Adelina is evil or crazy or what. Which just gives me grabby hands.

One thing I struggled with was the side characters. I already didn't connect to Adelina as much as I wanted to, and, on top of that, we don't get to know any of the side characters really at all. I loved her sister and how their relationship evolved over the course of the book but I never really understood any of the other characters like I wanted to. There wasn't a lot of development and there was insta love that felt kind of forced.

Overall: I did really enjoy reading this one, it's so different and refreshing that I have to recommend it, especially to fans of this author. It's a really solid read and there's so much potential for the next book that I am absolutely dying to read it. 


Villain Identity/Squad Tag:

So for this tag you must create a super villain identity! Name yourself, pick a power, make a badge if you like. And then tag people to add them to your squad! I admit, I stalked a few people who did this and then kind of just winged it... Also, don't' judge my badge, I was low on time!

I present to you my Super villain identity:




Alias: Artemis: The Book Hunter
Tagline: Artemis: The Book Hunter, travels the world, taking the form of any animal she wishes. Causing chaos, destruction, and *gasp* stealing books!
Powers: Shapeshifting
Description: Tends to take the form of a dove, because who would look for a dove when trying to catch a villain!?
Choice Of Weapon: Books! (for throwing, clobbering, anything really)
Tends to wear: Animals... haha. It's my official villain costume.

It took me awhile to come up with this. I picked the name Artemis, after the Greek goddess, obviously. Because she's my favorite Goddess and I've always been obsessed with her and it's seems like a good name. Obviously being able to shape shift will come in very handy when it comes to being a villain, they'll never know what shape I've taken! They'll never catch me! Honestly, if I'm going to be a super villain, I would probably fly solo. BUT, squads are awesome and therefor I will attempt to recruit the following:

I Tag:


Will you accept the call of the villains?

Giveaway!
There's still a couple days left in this awesome giveaway for an ARC of The Rose Society (US only!) so enter while you still can! And don't forget to check out the Young Elites and The Rose Society, all links down below!



23846013

The Rose Society! Coming next month!
Check it out on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes&Noble

From New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes the second book in the exhilarating Young Elites series
Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.
Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers that murdered her love, the Crown Prince Enzo Valenciano.
But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Let's Talk: Do you watch book trailers?

I've never watched a book trailer. True story.


So I'm genuinely curios, do you watch book trailers? Do they help you decide whether to read a book or not?


Because honestly, the only one's I've ever seen are James Patterson ones that come on TV. I've seen occasionally, when a book trailer is released but even for my favorite series and authors(Percy Jackson/Rick Riordan) I've never actually watched a book trailer.

Am I missing out? Are they awesome? Do you LOVE them?


Am I alone in not caring about book trailers and does anyone really know why they're needed? I mean, sure once in a while you'll see them on TV but not often, so I guess people just watch them online? Am I missing something!? Because honestly, the whole book trailer thing just seems pointless to me. Maybe it's because I don't like to torture myself more than necessary, I mean, I don't even read excerpts and sneak peaks very often because it's TORTURE. Why make myself face the fact that I still have painful months to wait for a book????


This whole post boils down to one question(which I reworded like thirty thousand times) do you watch book trailers?

Friday, September 18, 2015

#AmWriting Random Inspiration #3




Welcome to Random Inspiration! This is just a small feature where I post a random quote or song or something random for writing inspiration!


Check out my Twitter for more writing fun!

Monday, September 14, 2015

ARC Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

18304322
Dumplin'
by Julie Murphy
Release date: September 15th
Format: ARC
Goodreads Link

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.
With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.
I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss to review honestly

My Rating:


Review:

Ahhhh. This BOOK. This book is amazing and epic and so much more than everything you want in a good book. It's about breaking stereotypes and being confident about yourself no matter what, even when you most definitely aren't confident. It's about love but mostly self-love and friendship and Dolly Parton. And that's what I loved the most.

Yes, in many ways everything in this book is started because of a boy, Bo, and the way that for the first time Willowdean isn't happy with her body when she's with Bo. But it's so much more than that. Don't get me, wrong because the romance is sweet and in no way typical and I loved it but more than anything I loved it because it wasn't the focal point of the book. 

Willowdean doesn't want to be a hero, but she's kind of mine. She has her issues, she's flawed and not always the perfect friend, and she lets what people say get to her more than she's willing to admit, but she's also strong and awesome and will do so much for her friends even if she's selfish and mean sometimes. She is such a deep and well-developed character and I LOVED HER SO MUCH. And I love this author for writing such a beautiful and strong and badass main character who isn't a twig and isn't average, she's so much more than that. 

Give me all of the side characters! There were so many amazing characters in this book. First, of course, you have Willowdean and Ellen who've been friends forever after bonding over an undying love for Dolly Parton Their relationship has some ups and downs, but it's the best on in the book and, I mean, I've never shipped best friends before in an unromantic way but I ship them so much. Then you have the group of kind of misfits who follow Willowdean into the world of the Miss Clover City Pageant. First, there's Millie who's just as big if not bigger than Willowdean and who won't let what other people say get to her. Who's loved the pageant and dreamed of it since she was little and is just so awesome and sweet and kind. Then you have Amanda, who I loved from the moment she started calling Bo peachbutt. And finally, Hanna who might be my favorite character because she's so dark and awesome and mean without really meaning to and she just rounds out the group perfectly. 

The beauty pageant background was so amazing too. Willowdean was annoying at times, but what main character isn't? It was never enough to even lower my rating because everything about this book was so amazing and I loved Willowdean too much to be annoyed for long.

Basically, I did not want to put this book down. I knew within the first 4% that I was in love with Dumplin' and Willowdean. The writing is so fucking good. It's simple but filled with so many quotable, true, and heartbreaking lines. It's perfect for the story. And EVERYONE must read this immediately.


Would I Recommend This? Definitely.
To Whom?  Everyone. 
Will I read more from this author(or series)? Most definitely.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

ARC Review: The Lost Girl by R.L. Stine

Song Of The Moment- Lose Yourself by Eminem

23848058The Lost Girl
by R.L. Stine
Release date: Septemeber 29th, 2015
Format: ARC
Genre: YA Horror
Goodreads Link

Generations of children and teens have grown up on R.L. Stine's bestselling and hugely popular horror series, Fear Street and Goosebumps. Now, the Fear Street series is back with a chilling new installment, packed with pure nightmare fodder that will scare Stine's avid fan base of teen readers and adults. 
New student Lizzy Palmer is the talk of Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper befriend her, but the closer they get to her, the stranger she seems… and the more attractive she is to Michael. He invites her to join him on a snowmobile race that ends in a tragic accident. Soon, Michael's friends start being murdered, and Pepper becomes convinced that Lizzy is behind the killings. But to her total shock, she and Michael are drawn into a tragic story of an unthinkable betrayal committed over 60 years ago. Frightening and tense in the way that only this master of horror can deliver, The Lost Girl is another terrifying Fear Street novel by the king of juvenile horror.
I received this book from the publisher to review honestly

My Rating:



Review:

The Lost Girl is part of the Fear Street relaunch, and to be honest, it's the first I've read of the relaunch. But I have been a massive fan of Fear Street since I was nine, I own most the original books and was so freaking excited when I found out more were coming out. Don't get me wrong, I love Goosebumps too, but Fear Street is so much better in my opinion.

Onto the review. If you've read any Fear Street books then you know they all follow the same kind of formula, not a bad thing though, it made me super nostalgic. That's where this book, and I assume the rest of the relaunch, gets you. The nostalgia. Reading this I wasn't my scared nine-year-old self, but I was a little on edge and, mostly, it was just so much fun.

The Lost Girl is very similar to old Fear Street books, but, sadly, it's not nearly my favorite. It jumps between two timelines which felt weird. The old mystery, the killing, the gore, was all still there along with the supernatural like twist common in Fear Street books, but this one kind of lost me, interest wise, with the time jumping.

Overall: There's not much to say about this. If you love Fear Street then you'll want to read this for the nostalgia alone. It's not outstanding, but it's exactly what Fear Street has always been. It's a new old friend, you know? And I had lots of fun reading it and will definitely pick up the rest of the relaunch books.

Would I Recommend This? Yes.
Who To? Fear Street fans.
Will I read more from this author(or series)? Um, why is this question here?

Were you more a Goosebumps or Fear Street fan? Also, if you could pick one series from when you were little to "relaunch" what would it be?


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#AmWriting Random Inspiration #2




Welcome to Random Inspiration! This is just a small feature where I post a random quote or song or something random, for writing inspiration!

Today's inspiration is basically my favorite song ever right now. It's called Hall of Fame by The Script and yes, this SONG. Listen and you'll know why I find it inspiring.


Check out my Twitter for more writing fun!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Retelling The Story: Weekly Update #8 August Round Up

I am linking up with these two epic memes:

The Sunday Post Stacking the Shelves
Sunday Post hosted over at Caffeinated Book Reviewer & Stacking The Shelves Hosted by Tynga's Reviews

August Wrap Up:

Basically, I failed this month reading wise. I actually did pretty good blogging wise, I struggled with keeping up with all my favorite blogs, but I did post around 3 posts a week which I consider good! Reading wise I really really failed. I tried to do ARC August and read 4 1/2 ARCs, plus 2 other books which brings the total for August to 6 1/2 books. FAIL. I've been struggling with a major reading slump/just having no time.

Writing wise! I did a shit ton of editing, my MS This World In Gray, still needs a bit of work but I'm going to be finding/sending to some beta readers soon and getting ready to query again. Which is scary exciting. I submitted to Pitch Wars, which is an awesome contest, but sadly I didn't get in. =( That bummed me out for most of this week, but I'm moving on and going with my backup plan for This World In Gray which is a couple other pitch contests and then querying. Exciting stuff!







The Books:
For Review:
232995132465766023253083
1797314522926200

Can someone tell me why I thought it was a good idea to request four books that don't come out until next year when I'm not even close to being caught on ARCs from this year??? Also, um... Flamecaster which comes out next year... Um... I may have started reading it because I was so excited I got it, and it's the first in the companion series to one of my favourite series ever and one of my top 3 favorite authors of all time! I regret nothing except that I'm going to be so sad when I finish it!


Recently On The Blog:

I reviewed Map To The Stars which was blah and kind of a copycat of other books.

I also started my new feature, Writing Confessions by confessing that I LOVE editing!




Currently Reading:
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Tell me, how was your August? What was your favorite book??? Any new recommendations?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Writing Confessions: I LOVE Editing


If you're a writer, or even just know a writer, I'm sure you've heard of the dreaded editing. It's a nightmare, they say. I'll never survive, they say. Someone save me, they beg.


You see, editing is a big black hole of pain and confusion and pain. It can lead to bouts of major self-confidence issues, wanting to sleep all the time, and contemplating scrapping your whole novel. it's horrid. It's painful. It takes forever and sometimes there is no end in sight.


And. Um. I LOVE it.


Don't hate me!


via GIPHY

There, I said it. I LOVE EDITING. <3


It's all true. Editing sucks. And I always end up hating it a bit and complaining because it NEVER ENDS. But I love it, okay? Sure, it takes up all my time and it's annoying and hard and revising sucks and rewriting is even worse. But, with that first messy draft, you don't have to worry about how good the book is and, for me, that leads to lots of doubts and I always struggle through the middle. But, when editing and revising, you get to see the whole thing come together and I LOVE that. I LOVE trying so HARD to perfect all the big things and all the little things, because when I'm done? I'm SOOO much closer to having a really awesome book and not just a mess that mocks me from the flash drive that I wear around my neck.


So yeah. Don't hate me, but I love editing and revising, even when it gets tedious and I want to give up. Even though I have to basically give up blogging and reading because I can't concentrate on anything else because I'll forget all these small things I'm trying to fix in my novel. Even though I don't sleep enough because I get determined to do things and set myself way too many "small" goals that I have to get done in a small amount of time. Because when it's over, and I give myself a break before starting all over again, it feels really f**king good. Okay?


Do you love anything other people(including yourself) kind of hate? Confessions in the comments!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ARC Review Map To The Stars by Jen Malone

Song Of The Moment- Too little, too late by Jojo


23008726Map To The Stars
by Jen Malone 
Release date: 7/14/15
Format: eARC
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads Link

Author Jen Malone draws on her real-life experiences as a movie studio publicist to bring you an insider peek at love, Hollywood-style. 
The California dream was supposed to give seventeen-year-old Annie Shelton a fresh start far removed from her dad’s unusual betrayal. But when things don’t go according to plan in La La Land, Annie’s mom snags a last-minute gig as makeup artist to a teen movie idol and finagles a spot for her daughter on his European promotional tour.
Down-to-earth Annie would rather fangirl architectural sights than an arrogant A-lister. That is, until behind-the-scenes Graham Cabot turns out to be more sweetly vulnerable than she could have imagined. 
Too bad falling for a poster boy isn’t all red carpets and star treatment, especially when you factor in obnoxious fans, an overprotective assistant, a stage mom/manager, and a beefy bodyguard.
But it isn’t until the paparazzi make an appearance that things get really sticky…
I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss to review honestly

My Rating:

Review:
Map To The Stars follows Annie I-can't-remember-her-last-name, as she and her mom embark on a new journey, moving to LA and landing a job as Graham Cabot's makeup artist and assistant makeup artist. Where they go on a press tour with him. "love" ensues.

Were this a teen rom-com made-for-TV movie, hell had it been a movie I paid $13.50 to see in theaters, I would've loved it. But it was book. A book that just didn't stand out in any way shape or form. One word I can honestly say I use too much in reviews, and won't be using to describe this book, is unique.


Not be rude or completely disregard this book. It was fun. It was a nice, fun, kiss filled book. But there was no substance, no anything really. I did have fun reading it, at first. Then I got bored with the characters and the DRAMA.


Map To The Stars was predictable and not in a good way. I can honestly say I could pick out three or four books/movies that are exactly like this one except have a better main character. This main character, Annie, is as cliched as they come and her personality is about as thin as a piece of paper. Annie started out as a great character. Right off the bat you know this book is predictable and cliche but Annie seemed different. She was soft spoken, hated confrontation, and loved architecture. Unfortunately, a few chapters in she transforms into a standard female character. Meaning, she has no real personality, just the standard one of not a girly-girl, not into fandom, not into movie stars, is just "different" than "normal" girls. The kind that are kind of a trope at this point in YA.


The only thing I really loved about this one was Graham. He was a really good, but cliched, love interest. He's so sweet and lovable you can't not root for the boy. However, he is cliche. With "gold flecks in his eyes" and "too perfect to be true", and is Graham the only name that can be used for a movie star in a book? Cause, I'm sure I've heard it at least two other times. In fact, one of them is in a book very very similar to this one called This Is What Happy Looks Like that has a movie star/normal girl romance with the movie stars name as Graham... How does that happen? That shouldn't happen!


You know me, I'm all for the fluff, but I at least need unique characters I can root for. Not all too perfect guys and no personality girls, along with a plot that was copied from a Disney channel original movie. literally the whole plot was normal falls for movie star and they can't be together because...plot.


And don't even let me get started on the insta-love. It's so instantaneous that I think it needs a new name, is there something faster than instantaneous? If there is, that's what this is. They meet one time, scream at each other, and then are suddenly stealing sideways glances and having lunch and then, of course, he's hot and cold, she's just plain crazy and doesn't seem to understand anything about Hollywood. Like the girl didn't stop for two seconds to try and think things through, it went straight from "I hope he kisses me" to "he's a jerk" and he didn't even really do anything! And this goes on over and over again, seriously they aren't very smart.


Overall, this was a book that felt like the author had a formula of what needs to be in this kind of book and very carefully checked off every box with no personality and no voice. I thought I was going to recommend this and I do, if you want a really short fun read,  but honestly? I suggest This Is What Happy Looks Like over Map To The Stars any day.

Would I Recommend This? Kind of. A little? Maybe?
Who To? People...?
Will I read more from this author(or series)? Probably not.