A BRIEF HISTORY OF SWAG

SO THIS IS THE DEAL

love swag. Book swag, they call it. By which ‘they’ (authors, other book people, everyone) mean book-promoting items that are not books themselves. Book swag is sent to people for various reasons by various means- signed cover prints, bookmarks, buttons, stickers, etc. Really anything related to a particular book that is not the book itself. This week, I received my FIRST EVER book swag. It’s amazing.

     Okay, it’s not a great picture. There’s a glare everywhere, but I think you all get the point. This is really one of the most exciting things of my life- and now I realized that I’ve lied by telling you that I hadn’t received any other swag. I did-  the wonderful Katie McGarry sent her fans some great bookmarks and ribbons just for being fans.

     But to me, this is much more personal.

LET ME TELL YOU WHY

  This swag comes as a result of a very special initiative that I’m involved in, for a very special book. That’s right, you guessed it- Vengeance Road. I’m so, so excited for this book. I have it on my computer for ARC August and I cannot WAIT to get into it. Gritty, dangerous, and totally real, it’s exactly what I want- a YA Western.

    So yes, I’m part of the Vengeance Road Posse, the street team for this very excellent book. In June, I was one of the most enthused about it and I won that gorgeous signed cover print- and for being on the team, I received everything else pictured. Two really neat stickers and a bookmark, which is AMAZING. I love bookmarks SO MUCH. And now, here is the story of receiving this swag, one gif at a time.

MADE IT ON THE STREET TEAM

FOUND OUT WE’RE GETTING SWAG

IF WE TALKTALKTALK ABOUT VENGEANCE ROAD, WE COULD GET MORE SWAG

JUNE

You:

Me: (except, instead of Java, VR)

WINNING:

RECEIVING PRINT:

ONE WEEK LATER RECEIVING STREET TEAM SWAG PACK:

That last one pretty much says it all. I’ve been in fangirl mode ever since, and I will continue to fangirl mode until I’m told to stop on pain of death. So get excited, everyone!!!! Get some swag for yourself by preordering- but hurry! The offer only lasts until July 31st!

Here’s the link: Click here!!

Also, in case you missed it, here’s some more info about Vengeance Road:

Erin Bowman’s Author Spotlight

Waiting on Wednesday: Vengeance Road

The Character Reveals:

Kate Thompson

The Colton Brothers

The Rose Riders

Liluye

Jacob Waltz

The Reveal Recap

The book trailer (it’s seriously SO good)

Or Erin Bowman’s Twitter– for all the latest updates!

I know you all don’t blame me for being excited- because you’ve all felt this situation!

LET’S

GET

PUMPED! 

I love you all. Thanks for reading. Post a comment 😉

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WoW: WINTER

I SIT….AND WAIT…..AND WAIT….

Can I just do Illuminae again? Because really, that’s the only book I can see in my future. Until I get to November, and I realize why I’m just desperate for fall to be here. Not only will we be getting our hands on the gorgeous Illuminae, we will also FINALLY be getting our hands on

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Everytime I think about it being so close I get

Sorry. I’ll calm down.

NOT.

SO WHY AM I SO EXCITED?

The Lunar Chronicles is only one of my favorite series ever. I mean, no big deal. Winter is only the 800 page conclusion to this amazingness. EIGHT HUNDRED PAGES. Nothing could make me more excited. Nothing. Unless maybe there being another book, but that won’t happen.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting to know Jacin a whole lot better, and also (SPOILER) Wolf and Scarlet being together again because WHERE WAS THAT IN THE ENTIRETY OF CRESS, HMMMM?! (END SPOILER). But as you’ve seen from this “Secret Life” post from Monday, I love Jacin with wholly unrepentant adoration that burns like the fire of 1000 suns. What can I say? I like blondes.

But even more than that, I’ve never been disappointed by an LC book. Terrified, yes. Heartbroken, yes. Stabbed in the heart with 10,000 feels, yes. But never disappointed.

So here’s to Marissa Meyer for consistency- I really hope Winter lives up to my expectations.

What are you looking forward to this week? Are you as excited as I am for Winter? Post a comment!

TEASER TUESDAY: THE PRINCESS BRIDE

I WANT TO SEE YOUR SHELVES

This is a short blurb from A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

So, without further ado:

“You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.”

“You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.”

Okay, okay, so I didn’t choose it randomly. But it’s such an iconic quote! Almost everyone knows and loves the movie version of The Princess Bride, featuring a young, masked Cary Elwes and enough quotable quotes to last a lifetime. This is what I might get from some of you:

But that’s okay.

So here’s what I’m telling you now:

If you haven’t seen the movie, go watch it.

Then go read the book, and you’ll love it even more.

(P.S. Skip the introductions until you REALLY love it)

TAG: SECRET LIFE OF A BOOK BLOGGER

ONCE AGAIN, SLOW ON THE UPTAKE

I’m a loser. That’s what it is. Even so, I’ve been nominated for some really cool things that I’m going to get done, finally. This hiatus of a lazy blogger has been interrupted by the LOVELY Sydney at Books and Stuff for the Secret Life of a Book Blogger tag!

(Now I can stop watching Netflix for a little while)

1. How long have you been a blogger?
My first post was July 19th of last year, so that’s been a little over a year, and I don’t even know if I count that because I was so irregular.

2. At what point do you think you’ll stop?
I don’t think I will. I might get super inconsistent because I get busy, but I love writing reviews (even though they take FOREVER) and getting to gush about books without my mom/friends/random strangers being annoyed with me.

3. What is the best thing?
The best thing? Finding other people who are totally okay with ranting and raving about books/movies/Suits/hot guys because I don’t have a lot of people as crazy as me. It’s also laying in bed with Netflix on while I read a book that only makes me happy.  Also, happy endings. I don’t like to live without a happy ending (or at least the potential for one).

4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?
About blogging? When I feel pressured, like I HAVE to get this book done because I HAVE to write a review for next week and I HAVE to have posts lined up for every day of the week. When that happens I have to take a step back, remember that I started this blog to vent about things, not to become a professional blogger, and think about how reading is supposed to be fun. That’s usually when I let myself read without thinking about just how I’m going to review it.

5. How long does it take you to create / find pictures to use?
Pictures? You can use pictures?!?! Just kidding. Usually I use the covers from goodreads, because they’re the perfect size. Usually I write my reviews and blog posts when I’m at work and it’s slow, so I try not to spend a lot of time looking for gifs/memes, and I don’t have personal photos on my work computer. So…it takes me like 20 seconds to pull up goodreads and find the book I want.

6. Who is your book crush? 
What kind of question is this?! I can’t decide that! Now I’m going to spend a half hour looking through my favorite list trying to decide, so thanks.

I DON’T KNOW.

The first three that come to mind, all for various reasons, are Fear, from Some Quiet Place (the unique factor, and because he’s so…ugh. Perfect), Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn (because he’s dark and dangerous and has tiger eyes),  and Jacin from The Lunar Chronicles (because no one seems to live him, and I think in Winter he’s going to really take us all by surprise).

7. What author would you like to have on your blog?
Amie Kaufman. She’s a huge inspiration to me, and as a sci-fi lover, her books make my heart freak out with excitement. The top two books on my goodreads TBR are Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3, with Meagan Spooner, who is also awesome) and Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff, who is exactly the kind of person you would expect to write a butt-kicking science fiction novel).

8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?
Work clothes. Today, jeans and a tank top and a really cool flowy artsy vest thing my mom found for me. My glasses, almost always. But that’s just today. If I’m not in work clothes, I’m probably in my pajamas writing a post to schedule for the next morning.

9. How long does it take you to prepare?
I don’t really prepare. It depends on the book I’m reading, and the type of post I want to do. Generally, I’ll flash post- my own term meaning I post something every day for about a week, then get burned out and can’t think, or fall into a reading slump. So there’s not a lot of ‘preparation’ involved, especially when it comes to short posts like WoW or Teaser Tuesday.

10. How do you feel about the book blogger community / culture?
I love it. It’s like awesomess in a bottle. Or…not a bottle. Something else. Other people who feel as strongly about books as I do? WHAT? AMAZING. It’s so nice to have people to rant with.

11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?
Don’t pressure yourself. Don’t make it so important to post something every day, or on specific days, because it’s not about that. It’s about expressing yourself when you feel the need. And don’t compare yourself to other bloggers, especially the ones that have been blogging for years. They’ve had so much time to work on their routine and their personal preferences, and newbies can’t even hope to be as organized and put-together as them. So make sure you’re just having fun and don’t make yourself upset over not posting or taking a break. It’s all good.

12. Who do you tag?
Let’s see. Just because I want them to hate me some more…..

Liran my love @ Hearts and Crowns because I know she loves that I do these things to her, and also she’s fantastic (don’t let her try to tell you otherwise)

Analee @ Book Snacks because she’s got an AWESOME blog, and I love her variety and all the cool things she posts.

Anyone else who wants to do it, feel free! And comment below so I can check it out!

ARC August is Upon Us

TRYING NEW THINGS

First, I have to apologize for the hiatus! I’ve been so, so busy this month, and the crazy doesn’t stop until August 3rd. But I wanted to get everyone excited (and involved?) about this cool new activity I found! It’s called ARC August, and it’s a month-long initiative of getting your ARCs read in a timely manner! I have a lot of ARCs to get going with, and this is exactly what I need to make a dent in my TBR. Nothing like a great big group of people helping you along. If you’d like to join, you can find the original post at Read.Sleep.Repeat.

Without further ado, here’s my TBR for ARC August (to start)!

A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace – sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals – are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Prefecture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.

Enter Elián Palnik, the Prefecture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Prefecture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?

HOORAY

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart so full of hate.

Ror lives to draw—to her, it’s like breathing; it’s how she understands life. When her father dies, she finds herself at a crossroads. Should she paint in the classic tradition, the way he taught her? Go to college, like her art teacher wants? Or should she listen to Trey, the seductive street artist who leads the crew Noise Ink? She is a brilliant artist—but will she use her talent, or waste it?

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.

I’M A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF EXCITED

I’ll have to start on August 2nd officially, but I’ve already poked my nose into The Scorpion Rules and it seems really promising! I’m really hoping this will get me going again on my ARCs- I’ve fallen behind. When you’re busy and in a reading slump, pre-books aren’t what you go to, it’s the old favorites. And I have to apologize to you all again- I’ve been so busy and scatterbrained that it’s been like, ten days since I posted anything. Maybe more.

Somethimes I wouldn’t be surprised if I post one day and find this reaction from my readers: (FYI, I’m Lizzie in this gif)

So please….

I’ll give you more Ryan Gosling if you stay ❤

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

BOOKS I CAN’T REVIEW

I don’t like writing bad reviews. Especially not when I didn’t like the ending and I can feel in my bones that if I write a review, the whole thing would be negative, when in reality I liked the book up to the last 50 pages of so. So here’s a list of books I’ve read recently, but haven’t felt comfortable reviewing.

HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH ~~ TIFFANY SCHMIDT

So, here’s the deal: I loved this book so hard until the last 30 pages or so. And when I got to those last pages, I hated so hard that I just can’t write a review, because the whole thing will be a rant about how much I hate a particular person whom I shall not name so you all don’t have a spoiler. My problem is that I got VERY attached to some early characters who were involved in some VERY crazy plot twists that basically ruined my life and covered me in emotional trauma scars. So there’s that. But most of the book was awesome, and the writing was really good, I just can’t get past that ending. And the love triangle- GOSH, THE LOVE TRIANGLE. I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES. So there’s that. And now I want to rant some more, but I don’t want to do that to you all, so we’re moving on.

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES ~~ SABAA TAHIR

Okay. Overall, I didn’t like this book. I mostly kept reading it because my favorite person kept ALMOST dying, so props to Sabaa for getting me to finish. But mostly, AEITA left me feeling…confused. I didn’t know why Elias and Laia were so ‘drawn’ to each other, I didn’t know why Laia was involved at all, I didn’t know why Elias was such a *&^!@^% $&^#%$!@ ^#%$!@ &#^%(&^% and let everything bad happen when if he had just sucked up his ‘poor me, I want to be free’ attitude, none of that would have happened, I didn’t know why he was that impressive in the first place when he never once did what needed to be done to save his friends- or even the majority of people. He just let one person stand in the way and that, in turn, let a whole bunch of other people close to him die. So I guess my major problem was with the characters, but once again, I get into a rant about them and I seem like I hated the book, when in reality, I just felt…indifferent to everything that happened.

THE HEIR ~~ KEIRA CASS

Honesty time: I didn’t actually READ read this book. I skimmed it, read the highlights, got the general picture, and moved on. As you could probably from above, I despise love triangles. And this book is like a love….tridecagon. I don’t think that’s a word, but I don’t know what shape has enough sides. I managed to push through it in the Selection series (in book one, at least- 2 and 3 I skimmed as well) because it was from the point of view of a Selectee, not a Selector, but The Heir is all about the princess choosing a boy. And let’s get real- that’s not that interesting. I don’t need all her drama, I don’t need her ‘torn’ feelings or no feelings at all, I just want there to be a clear contender for the spot. It was just too girly for me- and I didn’t want to roll my eyes that hard. They might have gotten stuck in the back of my head.

PLAY  ON ~~ MICHELLE SMITH

I had a problem with every part of this book. All of it. I didn’t want to review it because it would just have ended up sounding hateful because I really couldn’t find anything I liked about it. The writing was average, the characters were cliche, and there were a lot of things I didn’t appreciate about the way the story progressed. I don’t like writing hate reviews, especially for my personal blog, so I just didn’t review it and moved on to another book.

THERE YOU HAVE IT

Several books I read this year were not cohesive to my reviewing desires. Sometimes you just can’t find it withing yourself to write a bad review of a book that really wasn’t that bad, or one that you just didn’t agree with. That’s what I found with there four in particular that I could remember.

Do you agree? Disagree? What books have you read this year that you really didn’t want to review?

WoW: THE ANATOMICAL SHAPE OF A HEART

THRILLS, CHILLS, AND DESPERATION. 

It’s Wednesday again, and that means another book I’m excited for! Hooray! This week we’re changing it up a little bit. I’ve been doing a lot of fantasy/sci-fi lately, so here’s a contemporary with an amazing cover to give us some spicy variety:

23310763

That’s right: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart comes to us November 20, 2015, and that cover is seriously just perfection, don’t you think? Simplicity has never looked so attractive. Neat fact: It will be published under the title Night Owls  in the UK in August (jealous!!)

SUMMARY (GOODREADS)

Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?

WHY I WANT IT

Because who wouldn’t?! Every sentence of this summary made me ever more excited to get my hands on TASOAH. (Except man, even that acronym is long!). I love graffiti, I love art, I love night expeditions, and the flavor to me was that of The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison (without all the murder and such) which I absolutely loved. But anyway- street art to me is fascinating, and I love little clues into their way of living. Of course, a romantic, angsty fall read is always something to look forward to, as well, and I can’t wait for this one.

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

REVIEW: BONE GAP

“You can slip into the gap and never find your way out.

Or maybe you don’t want to find your way out.”

SUMMARY (GOODREADS):

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

MY THOUGHTS

Baby Review:

So, my first thought when I reached page 6 of this book was ‘Why didn’t I pick this up sooner?’ And that feeling stayed with me through the entire novel. A melancholy mystery, both thrilling and sticky as molasses, Bone Gap is as good a novel as I have ever read. I’ll admit that it was hard at times, when I was halfway through the book and I still couldn’t describe it to anyone who asked me what it was about better than ‘A girl went missing and there’s bees.’ And yet I still give this book 5 out of 5 stars for the way it wrapped around me like a warm blanket and made me feel like I was drowning in honey. In a good way- a great way.

THE PLOT:

One of the most confusing books I’ve ever read, Bone Gap is the kind of book that doesn’t release any of the answers to your many questions until far, far into the novel. If you’re a reader who likes to have a piece every few pages, you’re out of luck. All through the novel you’re left with question after question, building and building until you can hardly stand the anticipation and the wondering. Finn is a peculiar sort, Petey is wild and open, Sean is dark and brooding (also my favorite), Roza is beautiful and earthy, and you never know more than that when you’re reading. The plot has a sort of melancholy feel about it, and the music playing in my head was the theme of shows like Eureka and Granite Flats. Slow lazy, with the feeling that you don’t really know what’s lurking beneath the surface of the sleepy little town you find yourself in. Bone Gap is like that, delightfully creepy, nerve-wracking in the best sort of way because the danger could come from any direction, from any of these happy town people working away at their respective jobs.

Anyway, if I’m being honest with you all, I’ll tell you that you probably will have no clue what’s going on for most of the book. If you’re like me, you won’t care, and you’ll adore it for the rich, vibrant writing and the promise of a thrilling conclusion. Peppered with POV changes and flashbacks, this novel made me swoon with all the detailed history, the well-placed humor just when you think you’re going to drown in the honey molasses melancholy that surrounds the characters.

When there’s finally an answer to your questions, when you finally understand what the heck is going on, you still feel a little confused. I wish it had happened slower, but then if it was slower, it wouldn’t have been as (for lack of a better word) magical. Because it was magical, the way every tiny detail you’ve been learning about the town and its residents twine together and finally, finally you can see the whole story woven out like a tapestry and you understand. That final moment of clarity (which I’m still getting more glimpses of) make you truly aware of just how amazing this book is. So go read it. Now.

THE CHARACTERS: 

I love pretty much everyone in this book, and the way their relationships grow and change. Take, for instance, Finn and Petey (Priscilla). At the start of the book, Finn and Petey are the outcasts- strange, avoided, pitied. But as they grow into themselves and start to see each other (and others) for who they really are, they change. And the town changes with them, changing opinions and acting on them almost as one entity (a hivemind, if you will). Finn learns about himself with the help of Petey, and his determination and intensity is hard to balance- but Laura Ruby destroys it. She makes Finn into someone relatable even with the corn whispering to him, she makes Petey wild and fierce and lovable even with her insecurities and inner demons (figuratively, of course). No one gets annoying  in this book (except the Rude boys) which is a miracle in itself. It seems like at some point in most books the main character becomes so frustrating and irritating that you can’t help shaking the book as if you can knock some sense into them, but not Bone Gap.  There was never a moment when I wanted to skip over dialogue or inner feelings, and I’m so, so happy about that.

Even the villain in this story is so amazingly crafted- a mystery inside an enigma, blurred to the point of terrifying normalcy, never quite in view but always there, invading homes and lives and worlds. He crosses the line between fantasy and reality, jumps between worlds to enter your waking nightmares. And that’s all I’m going to say about him, because any more would make it less fun for you.

Sean and Roza, though. The most beautifully understated love story of all time. I ached for their POVs, because when they happened, it was such a soft, easy love story to fall into. Told in bits and pieces marked by the pain of separation and loss, their story winds into something beautiful, almost as if they didn’t know they were falling in love and you get to watch this new discovery of feelings. But Sean- how can I describe him? You’ll just have to go read the book. He’s so quietly heroic, and everyone sees him as the hero, but when you catch glimpses of the sadness in him, you can’t help but feel heartbroken. And you can never hate him for not going to find Roza because you can just feel that even living is almost too much for him,, let alone facing that despair of not finding her day after day after day. Roza, for her part, is wonderfully brave and bold, fresh like the dew and beautiful as the dawn, opening the world of Sean and Finn and then ripping that away when she’s stolen. A powerful sense of loss followers her story, but never so much that she gives up. She always keeps going, always looks for a way out, never forgets her home even when it seems impossible to get back. I could write 1000 more words about how much I love them, but I think you all should just pick up Bone Gap  and find out for yourselves.

WHAT TO WATCH (SPOILERS): 

There was some material inappropriate for younger teens- Finn is very clearly a teenage boy, and he thinks like one. He also acts like one. Petey is a teenage girl, and they do end up having sex, though it is not graphically described at all, only brushed over enough that you know it happened. One of the characters also ends up being gay, but that’s only commented on near the end of the book briefly. Other than that, there’s also a touch of the unknown- could be magic, could be imagination, or it could be another world entirely. But that’s all.

OVERALL: 

I feel like I shouldn’t talk about this book any more, lest I give something away. All I can emphasize is how much I loved . It easily jumps to the top of my favorite books so far this year, and that’s saying something. I’ve read a lot of books so far. 10 of 5 stars, okay? Bone Gap  is what every person should read to understand what the YA genre is about- it’s raw, it’s real, it’s magic in a place where magic doesn’t seem to exist, with unforgettable characters that reach in and grab your heart before you can put up any walls. It’s seeing the same world from different eyes, and that’s something we should all be aware of. We all belong to this world, and we shouldn’t step on anyone else because they see it differently than we do. Maybe the way they see it is going to save someone someday.

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

REVIEW: THE LEVELLER

SUMMARY (GOODREADS)

Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them.

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

MY THOUGHTS:

Baby Review:

This book was like taking a vacation. The plot wasn’t too deep, the characters didn’t have some deep-seated angst or hatred for the world, no one was emotionally scarred, and it made me laugh. Perfect for easing yourself out of a reading slump, which is where I’ve found myself for the past two weeks.

PLOT:

I’ll be perfectly honest in telling you that I found the plot to be pretty far-fetched. I mean, I really don’t know a lot about science, but I didn’t quite connect all the pieces of why they were able to hold people captive in their own mind, and I would have liked to know more about the Black and why it messes people up , eats walls, etc. But then, if I had been given all those extra details, it wouldn’t have been as easy and as light to read. As it was, the plot was quick and airy, the reasons never quite as important as the action, and that was totally fine for me. I wish they would have gotten through all the introductory settings more quickly, but I understand that they were needed to introduce all the characters that did end up playing an important role as opposed to just being funny side friends. That could also just be me- I’ve never liked setting books up and all the general interactions of characters, so when a short book spends too much time on them, I tend to get impatient. However, I was glad not to be loaded down with all kinds of extra information that kept me from enjoying the details and frankly, the rest of the book. At the end of the book, when the bad guy is revealed and the problem is resolved, I felt that it was a little bit too quick, everything resolving itself in a matter of pages, but It didn’t feel…wrong. It was just a quick ending to a quick read, nothing too deep and there is absolutely no problem with that, to me. It wasn’t a mystery, it wasn’t a thriller, it was just a plain old good read.

CHARACTERS:

Obviously, with such a small book, you don’t get a lot of character development. Nixy was a decent heroine, feisty in her own right, and I appreciated her frustration as I can relate to being annoyed with a video game you just can’t seem to beat. On the other hand, I found it a little bit ridiculous that a teenage girl could do what so many ‘MEEP-O men’ (and women, as was so pointedly added in the book) completely and totally failed at, and ended up emotionally scarred from, to boot. Nixy Bauer is totally calm when professional adults come back and have to be treated for PTSD? That’s going a little bit too far.  I mean, there’s something to be said for mental fortitude, but really? She came out unscathed? No. Nope. That was the only major problem I had with the writing of The Leveller.

Wyn was a charmingly bland character. All the right features in all the right places, perfect smiles an Cuban good looks, but he didn’t really strike me as worth dying for. Or risking my life for. I mean, especially not for such a piddly sum as five grand. Not when his dad’s a billionaire+ and I need to pay my way through college! That would pay for like, a semester at an OKAY college where I’m at. But back to Wyn- His name works really well with the story- Wyn and Nixy, fighting for their lives! I liked that about this book: there were lots of well-chosen names. Wyn was one of those, but nothing else about him made an impression on me. He was just kind of…there, but I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t spend much time of character development.

Nixy’s friends, Moose and Chang, were actually key players in this novel, surprisingly enough. And I really liked them. They’re the kind of people I always used to hang out with, smart and funny and goofy as all get-out. That little plot twist at the end was pretty good, I’ll admit, and even if you *TOTALLY SAW THAT COMING*, it was a pretty solid ending to the story. Everyone ended up pretty much safe (except that one girl- I really would like to know what happened to her).

OVERALL:

I liked the book. It was kind of cheesy (the MEEP? Nothing will lower your terror impact more than saying MEEP all the time) and very light, but I appreciated the lack of complex interaction as a stepping-stone for getting back into my heavy-duty reading. It wasn’t as realistic or intense as Jen Alexander’s Aftermath, but that didn’t mean it was a bad book. I give it a 3 of 5 stars, and yes, I would recommend it to a friend who needs a quick read.

Goodreads | Amazon

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

WoW: THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT

THIS ONE IS SPECIAL

It’s July! That means summer is half over, fall is coming, an WINTER WILL BE HERE SOON!!!!

Our Waiting on Wednesday, a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, is the conclusion to a series that tops my list of sci-fi. And YA. And every kind of book there is. The Starbound novels are an exquisite set of books that are completely and totally out of the range of anything I have ever read in terms of their intensity, their amazing plots that intertwine worlds with space and just- I can’t even express how much I love them. This December, the trilogy will conclude with this beautiful book with this beautiful cover: 

SUMMARY (GOODREADS) 

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.

WHY I WANT IT: 

Okay, here’s the deal: I LOVE science fiction. I. LOVE. IT. And to YA, science fiction with the kind of world-building and twists that Amie and Meagan offer, as well as the AMAZING characters, is very, very difficult to find. These books are so good that I sort of hope they never make movies out of them, because they could never be as good as the books. And the covers- the covers! Be still, my heart. The gown for TFL is completely and utterly gorgeous, and they did an absolutely amazing job cultivating that sci-fi elegance that their books usually incorporate. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one, and congratulations to Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner for writing a series that I will never stop loving. Never.

What’s YOUR WoW?

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!