#ROCKMYTBR CHALLENGE

ROCKMYTBR

INTRO

#RockMyTBR is hosted by Sarah at The YA Book TravelerIt’s all about reading books that you OWN during the 2016 year and making a dent in that TBR!

SO HERE’S MY LIST

I definitely found more than I expected, especially e-books! If anyone wants to buddy read one of the ones on the list, shout out either in a comment on the post or on my twitter, @rosieposiekayla! I’d love to have a buddy to motivate me to keep going.

NOW THAT I’VE RAMBLED, HERE’S THE ACTUAL LIST (Alphabetical and not yet complete!)

PHYSICAL BOOKS

Dead Wake- Eric Larson (Hardcover, nonfiction)
The Help- Kathryn Stockett (Paperback, Adult fiction)
Into the Dangerous World- Julie Chibbaro (Paperback, already released ARC)
Legacy of Kings- Eleanor Herman (Paperback, released ARC)
Light of Day- Alison Van Diepen (Paperback, released ARC)
Murder on Murray Hill- Victoria Thompson (Paperback)
Secret Society- Dolby (Hardcover)
Silver in the Blood- Jessica Day George (Paperback, released ARC)
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids- Sarah Ockler (Hardcover)
This Raging Light- Estelle Laure (Paperback, released ARC)
The Trust- Dolby (Hardcover)

EBOOKS

Avalon Rising -K. Rose
Cage of Deceit – J. Davis
Carnelian Legacy – Koevoet
The Corridor – Will
Down from the Mountain – Fixmer
Dream Things True- Marquardt
The Firebug of Balrog County – Oppegaard
Life, Love & Lemons -Vernon
Lumiere -Garlick
Noir – Garlick
Passenger – Bracken
Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror – Smith
These are the Moments – Bravo
Thicker Than Water – Kemmerer
This Night So Dark – Kaufman & Spooner (novella)
Time’s Edge – Walker
Timebound – Walker
True Calling – Davis

So that’s my incomplete (so far) list, with priority/book tag to come! I can’t wait to start, and you all should join!

A SERIES A MONTH READING CHALLENGE!

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OOH, THE COMMITMENT!

Okay, I’m not great at consistency. I’m also not great at keeping up with challenges- it seems like every time I join a read-a-thon or reading challenge, I end up falling off the wagon sooner rather than later. But this one, hosted by the lovely Danielle at Love at First Page, (sign up yourself by clicking the link) seems like my level of chill.

Anyway, this is going to be my official post for keeping up with this challenge, since I’m hoping to keep doing it for years to come! I’m going to just start with a list of series I want to read or reread that I can keep updated, and I’ll add dates as I decide them. Thanks to Danielle for starting this great challenge!

TO-READ

Red Rising trilogy (books 2 and 3)- Pierce Brown (complete February 2016)
The Darkest Minds trilogy + novella collection – Alexandra Bracken (complete 2015)
Shatter Me trilogy + novellas – Tahereh Mafi (complete 2015)
The Wrath and the Dawn duology – Renee Ahdieh (complete May 2016)
Queen of the Tearling trilogy – Erika Johansen (complete November 2016)
The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer (rereads, complete February 2016)
Let the Sky Fall trilogy (books 2 + 3) – Sharon Messenger (complete May 2016)
Alienated series – Melissa Landers (complete August 2016)
The Fixer series – Jennifer Lynn Barnes (book 2 June 2016)
The Winner’s Kiss trilogy – Marie Rutkoski (complete March 2016)
Starbound trilogy – Kaufman/Spooner (complete December 2015)
The Illuminae Files – Kaufman/Kristoff (book 2 fall 2016)
The Young Elites – Marie Lu (complete late 2016)
Legend series – Marie Lu (complete 2013)
Red Queen series – Victoria Aveyard (complete 2017, book 2 February 2016)
Reckoners series – Brandon Sanderson (complete February 2016)
Under the Never Sky series – Veronica Rossi (complete 2014)

WoW: THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine! This week, I’ve chosen a beautiful book with a beautiful author. Emily Henry is funny, imaginative, and one of the kindest people you could hope to meet. January 26th, 2016, welcome the debut novel from the girl with amazing hair:

 

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(And, I mean, that cover is my absolute fav)

SUMMARY:

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

WHY I’M WAITING

Gosh. I wish I didn’t have to wait for this lovely thing to come my way. It’s romance and time travel, two of may favorite things. It’s a molasses drawl in the tune of Bone Gap, one of my favorites this year (or so I’ve heard) and that kind of slow-burn book is just my type. I like to read fast, but I can’t wait to just sit down and savor every word of this genre mix. It takes a special breed of writer to write something so thoroughly genre-bending, and to write it in a way that makes you ache for more, but I believe this will be one of them. Along with a few other 2016 releases I’ll be featuring later on, The Love That Split the World definitely deserves the hype that few books receive.

Need I say more? Because you all know that you want it, too.

 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

PREORDER FROM AMAZON OR BARNES AND NOBLE

EMILY’S  AMAZING TWITTER

What’s your WoW?

 

 

WoW: TRAITOR ANGELS

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Oh, this is one of my top 2016 releases. I CANNOT wait. Anne Blankman has written two stunning historical novels already- Prisoner of Night and Fog and Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (those names! those covers!) So, without further ado, here’s her upcoming book, coming to us May 3rd, 2016 from Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, here’s:

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(Have you ever seen a more beautifully simple cover? I DIE. The summary is just as good)

SUMMARY: 

Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects.

Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom.

Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s man arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart?

When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.

WHY I’M WAITING

AHHHHHHH

AHHHHHHH

AHHHHHHH

AHHHHHHH

Look, I can’t gush enough about how amazing Anne’s books are. She took a time period I don’t enjoy reading about (WWII) and made me ONLY want to read more about the lives of Gretchen and Daniel. If someone at my job at the library asks me for a rec, I send them straight to YA BLANKMAN. I know that Traitor Angels will be no exception. Danger? Check. Intrepid, intelligent, independent heroine? CHECK. Super-hot Italian scientist? CHECK CHECK CHECK.

All I’m saying here is that there are NO complaints when it comes to an Anne Blankman novel, and I have every confidence that this newest book will fill the void in my heart where the daughter of an epic classic literature writer and an Italian scientist will live. I’ll save the rest of my gushing for my review when I finally get my hands on this one (no matter how long it takes) but PREPARE YOURSELVES for the epic storm of love.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

FIND IT ON BARNES & NOBLE OR AMAZON

ANNE’S WEBSITE AND TWITTER

AUDIO REVIEW: ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

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SUMMARY:

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

MY THOUGHTS:

Okay. I’m going to be brief about this. I listened to the audio, and first things are first: I loved the narrator’s voice and the way that, even though he was only one person, he brought each character to life. I loved, too, Frank Volkheimer. The entire time. I loved the strains of piano that concluded the reading, and the way each piece of seemingly random information clicked into place as you reached the climax. I can see why it took Doerr ten years to write this novel, and I can see why it won the Pulitzer- the writing was so elegant and the words wrapped around you like old friends or a worn favorite blanket. When I tried to read it, I got lost in those same words, but hearing them let me concentrate on the cadence and the tone rather than how to pronounce them.

What I did not love:
I became difficult, at times, to decipher who, what time period, what place each chapter took on, because there were so many, and there were few indicators. Reading would have been better for this, I think. I ended up spending a lot of time with my mind occupied in figuring out what had happened the last time we were with this character, in that place, in what time.

The convergence of Werner and Marie-Laure left something to be desired. You spend this entire book waiting, waiting for them to meet, and once they do….it’s only for a moment. I suppose that is meant to mimic the lives of real people, how one person or so many tiny coincidences can lead up to a single moment, and that can be beautiful, but in a book, it made everything I had wanted so badly to happen so fleeting and so lacking.

I also was frustrated by the ending. Like many adult books I have read, this seemed like a book written just for me- and then the other shoe drops. For me, with the limited scope of adult books I have picked up, be they critically acclaimed, award winners, or what have you, they seem to be the unhappy endings of an open-ended YA novel. Adult books seem to be written by the realists of the world, even when their imaginations have sparked beautiful worlds and legends and tales. All the Light We Cannot See was one of these. A lush, rich climax that left me excited to keep listening was replaced, not by an aching, open end, or a vague epilogue, but the harsh reality of life, the drudgery of the middle-aged left after the war and the hollowness that enclosed them. And maybe that’s beautiful to some people, maybe they like to read about the real lives of people, but I didn’t want my time to be so spent. It troubles me that now, I can’t even imagine a world where Werner and Marie-Laure even know each other, let alone where they are happy and bold and strong.

Obviously I had a few issues with this book. But Volkheimer, the rich historical details, and the beautiful writing made this book worth my time. I will give it four stars, simply because of those three things.

WHAT TO WATCH:

(SPOILERS) This is an adult book, so there were a few instances to look out for. With regard to violence, this was probably the most prevalent, since it is set in wartime. There were a few gruesome descriptions of deaths, and the training for Hitler’s army of youths is brutal. Werner is trained with regard to triangulating radio signals, only for his comrades to go in and kill the broadcasters.

There are also some sexually explicit jokes made by one of the soldiers in Werner’s company, and his younger sister, her guardian, and a few of her friends are raped by Russian soldiers.

The same man who makes explicit jokes also uses some foul language in a few instances, but the scenes with that person are not frequent.

 

So tell me what you thought of this Pulitzer! It wasn’t really my type of book, but I know it is well-loved by many. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all soon!

REVIEW: THE MASKED TRUTH

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SUMMARY: 

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.

Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal.

The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.

The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.

Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.

MY THOUGHTS:

PLOT: Mrmgh. Eh. Sigh. I didn’t reread the summary when I picked this one up. My interpretation (aka what I remembered) was that it was one of the kids, picking off the others one by one, you never know who you can trust.

Nope. From the start you know who the dangerous ones are, and then it’s just a lot of running and hiding and running and people being absolute idiots. And then it’s just a lot of self-doubt and wandering around a hospital and that’s where I stopped. So I guess this is more of a baby book review, because I skimmed just about the last 50 pages. I guess the end was kind of a surprise? But not…really? Honestly, there were about a hundred pages that were really interesting, and then I just…wasn’t feeling it. It was too fast a climb in action that led to too fast a fall in action.

CHARACTERS: I hoped a lot from these characters. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t connect with them, and I wanted a lot more. From Max and his schizophrenia, I wanted more hallucination, more of that unreliable narrator, instead of thinking it MIGHT be unreliable, but probably not really. I understand that it’s much more realistic this way, but I would have loved more drama from him.

As for Riley, I just…couldn’t get behind her trauma. The survivor’s remorse and the PTSD, once again, I realize were crafted for the realism, but I wanted…more. More than just her calling herself a coward every five paragraphs.

As for secondary characters, I really liked Sloane after the entire incident. Brash and confident, she was just my kind of character. I did think Armstrong did a great job writing an interesting and varied group of characters. (even if a lot of them did bite the dust).

Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for a thriller, or contemporary, or…I don’t know. This one just didn’t strike me, but maybe I’ll revisit it when I know that’s what mood I’m in.

WHAT TO WATCH:

Violence. This one was pretty graphic, too, lots of descriptions and shooting and fighting and just…violence. So this one is definitely not for young or sensitive readers.

What did you think of The Masked Truth? I heard a lot of great things about it, and I want some reasons to try it again someday!

WoW: IVORY AND BONE

     Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I’ve been so busy, I haven’t even been thinking about Waiting on Wednesday, but I really want to get back to promoting my favorites from my TBR. This week involves some EXTREME cover-love, and I can’t wait to share it. With a release date of June 14th, 2016, from HarperCollins, and written by the lovely and talented Julie Eshbaugh, here’s:

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SUMMARY:

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

WHY I’M WAITING:

Ooh, I just can’t wait for this! A new flavor of historical fiction with a twist, and such a compelling summary! AND THERE MIGHT BE……*drumroll*…..MAMMOTHS. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE?  A YA WITH A MAMMOTH HUNT? Watch this totally be after mammoths, and this will all be absolutely wrong. A GIRL CAN DREAM. Even if there’s not, this whole idea is just…so unique to YA, and a very different sort of literature than what we usually see. I simply cannot emphasize enough how excited I am for this, and honestly, a lot of it is from the cover alone. I know this is a pretty short WHY, but I think it’s enough. These books are really going to hit a specific audience, and obviously I’m one of those people!

 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

FIND IT ON BARNES & NOBLE OR AMAZON

JULIE’S WEBSITE AND TWITTER

NAMELESS

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SUMMARY:

Four clans have been at war for centuries: the Kodiak, the Raven, the Wolf and the Ram. Through brutal war tactics, the Ram have dominated the region, inflicting death and destruction on their neighbors.

Seventeen-year-old Zo is a Wolf and a Healer who volunteers to infiltrate the Ram as a spy on behalf of the allied clans. She offers herself as a Ram slave, joining the people who are called the “nameless.” Hers is a suicide mission – Zo’s despair after losing her parents in a Ram raid has left her seeking both revenge and an end to her own misery. But after her younger sister follows her into Rams Gate, Zo must find a way to survive her dangerous mission and keep her sister safe.

What she doesn’t expect to find is the friendship of a young Ram whose life she saves, the confusing feelings she develops for a Ram soldier, and an underground nameless insurrection. Zo learns that revenge, loyalty and love are more complicated than she ever imagined in the first installment of this two-book series.

THOUGHTS:

PLOT: I don’t have a lot to say about this book. I think I went into it with too high expectations from the rave reviews I had seen before the release date. I don’t know what changed between the ARC and the finished copy, but I didn’t see the kind of excellence I wanted to. The idea, in and of itself, is great. It’s a different take on a sort of cult life, futuristic fantasy faction land, and I loved the originality of the idea. The execution, however, felt like too much of the author trying to make elements of other popular YA books fit into her novel. The Prim (Hunger Games) little sister in danger situation? Check. The factions that all excel in one field or another, a la Divergent? Check. A love triange? Check. (But, to be fair, it wasn’t much of one). It saddened me that the execution fell so flat for me, and I wish that even the pacing had been better. There was a lot of talking, talking, talking, each character thinking, feeling guilty, feeling torn, and then all at once a flurry of action that made sense, but with no buildup or anticipation. The cliffhanger at the end was good, although abrupt, and I’ll probably at least skim the next book, since it’s only a duology.

CHARACTERS: Eh…I don’t want to talk about them. Honestly, it’s been a week since I finished this book, and I don’t even remember them. The girl was Zo, someone whose name started with a G….Gryphon? I don’t have the book, and now I can’t check. I think it was Gryphon. Anyway, they all did a lot of thinking- mostly about how betrayed everyone would be if they knew the truth. It was all so roundabout, and it got tiresome quickly, especially with so much potential for other things. I don’t think I can really say anything more about the characters- just that they were all intending to do something selfless, and ended up only seeming self-absorbed.

WHAT TO WATCH

This one was pretty clean, with only a few references to sex- one of the gate guards is particularly disgusting, and takes what he wants from many of the girls in the community, and intends to do so with Zo as well as her younger sister, but (SPOILER) nothing happens. That’s all.

OVERALL: I’d give this one two and a half stars, maybe. It was only okay in some parts, but there were a few occasions that I really enjoyed it. So of course, these are all subjective opinions, and I’d love to hear yours if you’ve read it!