BOOK REVIEW: ANOTHER DAY

“Most of the time when we think we’re looking for death, we’re really looking for love.”

SUMMARY

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.

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

MY THOUGHTS

I don’t know how to get into this. I really enjoyed Every Day, way back when it first came out and I didn’t know anything about the story. I remember loving A, loving Rhiannon, loving the bittersweet, unsatisfactory ending that left me wanting more, but not too much more. I wanted to know if he ever got to have his own body, and if Rhiannon found someone else to love, because loving A was impossible.

Then I found out Another Day was a thing. I was excited, yes. Nervous, yes. But this was not at all what I had expected, or wanted, from it. I didn’t think I would have such a problem with seeing the story from Rhiannon’s point of view, but her story took all the romance and mystery out of it for me. In fact, I don’t know why A liked her at all. She’s a complete stereotype, and without sounding insensitive, I can’t go into why. Suffice to say that I don’t like people who can’t stand up for themselves, who let themselves be trampled all because they don’t think they’re worth enough to be treated right, and I certainly don’t want to read about them.

The entire book, after every encounter with Justin, I felt more angry with Rhiannon, and after every encounter with A, I was more confused as to why he was so determined to be with her. It just didn’t make sense, unless A has some kind of hero complex.

In addition, I found this book to be less about the story of A, Rhiannon, and the mystery of why A changed every night and more about the ever more controversial subject of gender and the role it plays in relationships. Too many long monologues about why ‘gender doesn’t matter’ and ‘love covers all’ for me to be comfortable, because to me, gender does matter.

But I digress. Another Day fell flat for me, and I’m sorely disappointed that it ended in the same place as Every Day, with far fewer answers and far more questions.

WHAT TO WATCH

Oh, you know. Homosexuality and transgender characters abound, so if you don’t approve of that, I wouldn’t pick this one up. Heterosexuality is also casually thrown in, with sex happening frequently. There is underage drinking and partying, and drugs are mentioned a few times. I wouldn’t recommend this for those with a sensitive conscience, and definitely not for young readers.

OVERALL

I’ll give Another Day two stars for the writing style- it kept pace, for the most part, and rarely dragged, though I did skim some. But I didn’t like the content- I’m not interested in reading about people, knowingly or not, experiment with their sexuality while at the same time be driven into depression and desperation by their boyfriend, his actions, and their unwillingness to step away from the situation. To me, Rhiannon was the bad guy, and I know that wasn’t the point of the book, but that’s where it ended up for me.

I received an ARC of this book thanks to NetGalley and Random House. This has not influenced my review in any way.

WHAT I’M READING

I’M NOT LOST

You might have been wondering where I’ve disappeared to! Well, it’s been a busy week, and I’m going to do my best to get back on the reviewing/posting wagon next week! Here’s a quick look at what I’ve started reading in the past week and what I’ve been excited for to make up for missing my Waiting on Wednesday!

BLACKHEARTS, NICOLE CASTROMAN

LOOK HOW PRETTY! I am so excited to read Blackhearts, coming to us in February 2016. I think it’ll be a great historical YA, with beautiful characters and lavish settings. Nicole has described it as pre-pirate, and that’s got me more excited than anything!

LOST STARS, CLAUDIA GRAY

If you love Star Wars, or sci-fi, or Claudia Gray, or great writing, you’ll want to pick up this one. It’s longer, 560 pages, but it’s so good that you won’t even notice the pages flying by. The dynamic between the two main characters, Thane and Ciena, is so absolutely exhilarating that you won’t be able to put it down, and so far (I’m only on page 116!) their character development has been such a delight to witness- they’re going in two different directions, and it’s beautifully terrible to watch. I love it, and can’t wait to see where it goes.

So there’s a little bit about what I’ve been doing, and hopefully I’ll see you again soon! Much love to you all! ❤

BOOK REVIEW: VENGEANCE ROAD (ARC)

“You gotta be quicker than quick, ace high, the best.”

SUMMARY (DON’T YOU ALL HAVE IT MEMORIZED BY NOW?)

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.

In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

MY THOUGHTS

PLOT: Thank you, thank you, THANK you, Erin Bowman, for writing a truly diverse YA novel. When you try to find a Wild West YA novel, the closest you can really get is Blood Red Road by Moira Young, or maybe a few others that I can’t think of that aren’t really the Wild West- they just encompass the feel. But Vengeance Road is authentic to the core, from the characters to the perfectly detailed landscape of Arizona. Kate is bent on vengeance of the gang that killed her Pa, and that theme carries through the book. Unlike many heroines out for revenge, Kate doesn’t get sidetracked by boys or fear or doubts in herself. She’s got one goal, and that goal is to kill the man who killed her father. The plot only thickens- no, really, it does get thicker-  with the addition of Liluye to their group and then a surprise new character turning the tables. There’s a few HUGE twists near the end of the book which I won’t spoil for you, and it was AWFUL, but in a good way, because it made the book that much more realistic- no one escapes unscathed. I use these gifs a lot, I think, but it’s very apt.

Really, that part also made me ‘George Michael’

Anyway, the plot was absolutely delicious- lost gold and revenge and all kinds of cowboy action, just my style. I’ll be rereading soon with my HC, no doubt.

CHARACTERS: Another A+ for Erin on this count. What I loved most about Kate, first of all, was that she wasn’t afraid to die. She didn’t track down the gang with any expectation of coming away unscathed in some miracle- she was ready to die, and whether that was foolish or not, it’s up to us individually to decide. But it added so much depth to the story- you could focus on what was happening, rather than all her insecurities, because she didn’t have any past wondering if she would be able to find the Rose Riders at all. She didn’t want the gold, she didn’t want the fame- she just wanted to avenge her father, and that was it. She’s fantastic- all fire and just the kind of gritty heroine that a western novel needs, without being mannish. She’s still a girl, after all, with feelings and emotions, and I related to her really well.

The Colton Brothers, Jesse and Will, were absolutely swoon worthy. Cowboys are my number 1, and to have TWO of them in this book made my day. I loved the dynamic between the two, and even with that huge surprise at the end, it still only made the feelings more real. And broke my heart. Anyway, in case you were wondering, there isn’t a love triangle, which I was a little bit worried about, to be honest. But there wasn’t, and the romance is slow-building and real and you just get those squiggly feelings inside you whenever there’s a glimpse. I actually think I might have liked Will more than Jesse, just because…well, I don’t know about that. They’re both fabulous, and I don’t know if I could pick one or the other because they’re so wound up in each others’ personalities.

The villains were ruthless and mercenary, just like you would expect from an outlaw gang. I appreciated the distinction they were given, and the fact that Waylan Rose wasn’t some mist that they were chasing- he was real, and he appeared many times, and he was stronger than Kate.

The rest of the characters that you only glimpse for a few moments- Liluye (linked above), Jacob Waltz, and others, really added to the dimension of the novel.They were strong presences, especially Liluye, and though they didn’t stay long in the novel, you were left with a clear picture of who they were when they were mentioned again, even in passing.

WHAT TO WATCH: I wouldn’t recommend this for younger readers- while it isn’t graphic, per se, there’s some scenes that might be upsetting to a younger audience. There is language throughout, words that the gunslingers of old used frequently, and it lends to the authentic feel of the story. Other than that, this book is a great read, and for the right reader, it could easily break into a favorites list.

OVERALL: Five stars. I loved this book. I do wish that the ending felt less abrupt- there was a lot going on, and it seemed like it could have been drawn out into more of the book. Especially the final, most important plot twist was a little bit abrupt and unexpected- I would have liked to see hints of that more through the book. Maybe I did and I just missed it- I was sick yesterday when I read it. But I really did love everything else about this book, and I would recommend it to everyone, not just those who love Westerns.

Thanks to HMH and NetGalley for my ARC of Vengeance Road, released September 1, 2015!

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

YOUR EXCITING OPPORTUNITY

YOU HEARD IT EARLIER

I told you in my Vengeance Road release post that later today you would be notified of a HUGE opportunity, and now is that time! The amazingly cool Susan Dennard has put together an awesome contest to showcase Vengeance Road in the wild. It’s called the VENGEANCE ROAD ROUNDUP!

This is a US only giveaway, and the link to the original post and rules can be reached through clicking the logo (right above!) or by clicking the link highlighted here. 

I’m so excited to see everyone’s pictures of Vengeance Road anywhere they can be found, and I’ll be sharing my own on my twitter (@rosieposiekayla). You can find all the pictures by searching #VRRoundup on any social media site! Can’t wait to see everyone’s creative pics! The winner will be chosen randomly, so if you don’t think you’re creative, that’s okay! We just want everyone to be aware of the Vengeance Road sightings and to be excited to see it out and about!

VENGEANCE ROAD: IT’S HERE!

VENGEANCE ROAD RELEASES TODAY!

If you didn’t remember, or you’ve been living under a rock, today, September 1st, is the day Vengeance Road is released into the wild! HOORAY! The review is forthcoming- I haven’t quite finished it yet. But believe me, you’ll want to get your hands on this as soon as you can! This is a rarity among YA novels, both in setting and in quality, and I can already recommend it to anyone with a taste for, well, books. SO, without further ado, congratulations to Erin Bowman and WELCOME TO VENGEANCE ROAD!

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SUMMARY:

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.

In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

I’M ALSO INCLUDING A TEASER TUESDAY

As part of the street team for VR, I have been given a teaser every week, and these two sentences are two of my favorites from closer to the end of the book. I know that traditionally, a Teaser Tuesday is a random quote, but it’s hard to find a random page in my computer-only copy! So here are two amazing sentences that I think really do encompass the feel of the book.

 You gotta be quicker than quick, ace high, the best.

Far too soon, the sun begins to rise.

There’s nothing quite like some dramatic sentences to get you excited for a new novel. I’ve been in a hardcore slump lately, and I really think Vengeance Road could be the one to bring me out of it. We’ll see, anyway! But everyone should definitely check it out, and stay tuned for AN EXCITING OPPORTUNITY later today!