ARC AUGUST WRAPUP

MY FINAL RESULTS

If you don’t remember, here were my goals for ARC August- I had 4 books I wanted to read this month. Here’s the link: ARC August is Upon Us!

How did I do? I was wondering the same thing myself.

While I did read four (and a half!) ARCs this month, only one (and a half!) I planned to read. The one I finished: The Scorpion Rules (click the links in the titles to see the reviews) by Erin Bow. I was really disappointed in that one, and couldn’t believe one of the most hyped fall books fell so short for me.

The second ARC I finished this month was The Fixer, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. That one DID live up to everything I had heard about it- a solid plot, exciting, dynamic characters, and a great finish that left me wanting more. I can’t wait for book two- and congrats to J. Barnes for writing the only ARC I read that I enjoyed this month!

The third ARC I read was one that I borrowed from the YA librarian where I work- A Thousand Nights, by E.K. Johnston. I didn’t write a review for that one, mostly because I really didn’t know what to think. I liked the writing, but I was often confused and a little freaked out, and it fell far short of the bar that Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn set in May of this year.

My fourth ARC was absolutely the worst. Really, one of the worst books I’ve read in a long, long time. Awake, by Natasha Preston, fell short of everything that spoke well of it, even if that was just the summary. My twitter chat review included in the post really explains everything, so make sure you check that out.

As for the half, I’m about that far into Vengeance Road, which releases tomorrow, and once I get my hard copy I’ll probably finish it out with the real pages. Something about paper just makes it so much easier to read, and my allergies make my eyes hurt too much to stare at a computer screen for long! But Erin’s writing is just stellar so far, and it’s my own fault that I haven’t gotten it finished before now!

So there you have it, my boring, pictureless post of my ARC August review- but the reviews themselves have pictures, so go check those out! And many thanks to Read.Sleep.Repeat for hosting the event! I had a blast this year and can’t wait for next year’s ARC August blitz!

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

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BABY BOOK REVIEW: AWAKE (ARC AUGUST)

IT’S A SAD DAY

I DNFed another ARC that I was really looking forward to. I should have known- it has only a 2.7 star rating on goodreads, and that’s pretty hard to do. But I didn’t look at that ahead of time, and I thought it would be great- the summary sounded cool, and I was excited about the premise. So here’s what you normally see in my reviews:

I received this book thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review.

SUMMARY (goodreads.com)

Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question—until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.

When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it…because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.

And they want her back.

But the actual review is going to be a little bit different. 

I don’t think I can really write a review- everything about this was just…bad. All of it. So to encompass the main points, I’m going to share with you the conversation I had with my twitter writing group (unfortunately minus Zoey-Woey) whiile I was reading, in a series of screenshots. Enjoy.
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In the end, there’s one gif that really encompasses the way I felt after every flip (swipe?) of the page, up to the point I deleted it from my tablet.

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 FINALLY

I don’t recommend this book to anyone. It was really inappropriate at times, as well as being an uninteresting and uninspiring. I DNFed this one at 18% and skimmed the remainder, just to see if it got any better. It didn’t. I don’t want to bash the author, because I have heard some good things about her other book, but this one was a major flop. At least it made me laugh, even if it wasn’t supposed to. One star, if only for that fact.

Thanks to Kiara and Liran for making this review possible. And pardon Liran’s language please 😉

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

BOOK REVIEW: THE FIXER (ARC August)

“My sister was a mover, a shaker, a problem solver – and right now, the problem she’d set her sights on solving was me.”

SUMMARY (goodreads.com)

Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.

THOUGHTS

They say “teen drama” like it’s some tween romance love triangle. What they mean is “people get murdered and teens try to find out who did it.” So, you know. “Teen drama.” I loved this book, though. The plot was terrific, the characters were all so dynamic and unique, and you never felt like you needed to skim to get through a boring or unimportant section. Kudos to JLB for that- I’m a big skim-reader.

When I got to the last third of the book, my expression through the entire thing was simply this:

Seriously. The whole last third of the book. It was awesome. Plot twists like you wouldn’t BELIEVE.

PLOT: Strong, strong, STRONG! I loved the development. Even though it was a lot of information, it never felt like an info dump when you were getting details. I did find it to be a little bit slow toward the beginning, but never so much that I wanted to put it down or skim the information. Somehow, you know everything you’re reading is important. And it is- all the little strings tie up in a knot when you get to the end, and you’re just excited that you finally get to find out what all the dynamics are about. Except then you don’t, and you’re left dying for book two. I can’t really say any more without giving it away- yeah, it’s all spoilers- so I’ll just conclude this section by simply stating that IT WAS AMAZING AND YOU NEED TO READ IT NOW.

CHARACTERS: Okay, I pretty much loved all of them. I wish Asher had been a little bit more developed, and I wish we had more time to get to know Henry and what his whole deal was, but overall, they were all unique, relatable, and entertaining. They acted like normal humans and normal teens, and I really appreciated that- sometimes authors will try to make their characters do things that aren’t really something a normal, well-adjusted person would do and pass it off as creative license or ‘that’s just they way they are.’ But it’s hard to relate to those characters, and I usually don’t keep reading books with characters I can’t connect to.

On a side note, I almost found myself wanting to know more about the adults in this novel more than I cared about the main storyline at times. The three most mentioned- Ivy, Adam, and Bodie- have a great dynamic, even if it is a little confusing at times. I never thought that I would care about the side, adult characters so much, but they’re all so mysterious and intriguing, and I just can’t help but want to know what’s going to happen with them in the future.

WHAT TO WATCH: Nothing. This book was clean as a whistle- there wasn’t a romance at all, there was no bad language, no violence of note (people die, but it’s not like they stumble across dead bodies or see the graphic results of the deaths). It’s a thriller that does its job without any of the messy teen relationship drama to clog up the plot, and it’s a book I would recommend to anyone in the YA genre.

I don’t want to say any more about this book. Anything else I could say would be to give away an important aspect that you would enjoy much more finding out about on your own. I can’t imagine the feelings you’ll have when you read it- I only know what I felt, and it was so worth every second I spent reading instead of doing anything productive with my time. I give it 4.5 stars only because there were times when I was really confused, and maybe that was just me, but I still highly recommend this book for any reader- it’s a contemporary that will hook a fantasy lover as easily as it does a modern-day reader.

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

BABY BOOK REVIEW: (ARC) THE SCORPION RULES

ARC AUGUST #1

Thanks to Simon & Schuster

ARC through Netgalley

The Scorpion Rules to be released September 22, 2015

I’m calling this another ‘book I can’t review,’ and this time it’s because I was so annoyed I couldn’t finish it. If I don’t finish, I can’t call this a real review. But I’m still going to tell you why, and what to watch.

THE CHARACTERS: I can’t even tell you how irritating they were .The only one I liked was the non-human overlord- at least he added some dimension. The rest were interchangeable- characters to add bulk that didn’t add anything to the story. I learned a hundred names and then got them all confused. Each character could have been so distinct and grabbing, especially the rebel Elian, but no. There was 0 dimension to their personalities. They all acted like frightened children up to the point I read. I mean, technically they’re kids, and their lives are in danger, but their lives have been in danger since they were born. Get used to it.

At any rate, I felt a major disconnect with the characters. They earned my disgust instead of my loyalty, my wrath instead of my love, and that will kill a for me book very, very quickly. If I don’t love the characters, I can’t love the story.

THE SETTING + PLOT: I did enjoy the world-building- it was a very well thought out plan and the descriptions were really interesting- it was almost a believable world that Bow created for readers. The plot, however, was sorely lacking. I read several chapters and skimmed even more, and nothing happened outside the school that they live in. The most exciting thing that happened was a goat getting loose and climbing a tree- I mean, you’ve created this whole world, and you don’t let us explore it? The plot really fell flat for me, which I find is happening a lot in these majorly hyped books. I’m obviously not in the majority, but I just couldn’t finish this book. Here’s why

WHAT TO WATCH:

/SPOILERS/

There’s a love triangle. A bad one, one that’s not well-developed and not well-executed, but the fact remains. And it’s a F/F/M triangle- by which I mean the main character, Greta, is ‘in love’ with a boy and a girl.

This, I simply do not read. Besides the fact that it was terribly written, I don’t read LGBT material- to be perfectly honest, it creeps me out a little bit. And too, in this particular instance, for the first half of the book Greta is all about that boy and his perfect hair and perfect face and she’ll do ANYTHING for him. But then, in 2.5 seconds, she’s suddenly in love with her (female) roommate, who is her everything! She can’t live without her! It’s just too hard to bear!

Please. Spare me the insta-love. Spare me the badly written characters and choppy love triangle. This book gets 0 stars from me- or 1 star if I have to rate it at all. The premise was interesting, but the execution falls totally flat.

ARC August isn’t off to a very good start for me. I’m hoping that my next book will be better.

See my ARC August list here!

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