Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blog Tour: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon {Review}

Release date: November 1, 2016
Author info: Website | Twitter
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
I think I've said a few dozen times how contemporaries really aren't my bread and butter, right? But even I can't resist the call of a book that sounds as good as The Sun Is Also a Star, especially after hearing the raves people had for Everything, Everything.

And The Sun Is Also a Star is a rather magical read. I think you have to suspend some of your disbelief to really buy into it, but when you do, you'll fall in love with Natasha and Daniel just as quickly as they fall in love with one another.

I loved the format most, I think. The glimpses into the other character's lives, how their interactions with Natasha and Daniel affect their decisions and create truly momentous changes, is so affecting, and brings the book to another level. These are the kinds of things we don't think about, in books or in our own lives, but I loved realizing it, seeing how those changes could make all the difference. Even as The Sun Is Also a Star is a about Natasha and Daniel's day together, falling in love, it's just as much about how those people they're coming in contact with are affected by them. This is not to mention all of the little chapters about things mentioned, like Eyes, or even some of the scientific concepts Natasha mentions. Each intertwines into the story and plays off whatever's happening at the time--and it's spectacular.

The Sun Is Also a Star is at its heart hopeful. Hopeful that Natasha and her family won't be deported. Hopeful that Daniel will find his way out of his parent's expectations. Hopeful that those we meet along the way can make a difference.

For someone who doesn't particularly enjoy the genre as a whole, The Sun Is Also a Star is an unarguably beautiful book. The best books are good no matter what your opinions on the genre are. Read it!

About the author:

Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Her first novel - Everything, Everything  - debuted at #1 on the NYT Bestseller list. Her second novel - The Sun Is Also A Star will be published 11/1/2016.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Stacking the Shelves {160}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

Hii! Nothing much exciting going on for me this week, just the holiday meeting at work this morning. I used my last bit of vacation and visited my best friend this week, and we spent too much money. Oops. :)

ANYWAY, on to the books!


Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson (signed! YAY!)

Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt
Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt


The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

I am more than a little bit excited to have this in my hands, y'all. I LOVED the first book. But I'm pretty sad about the new cover direction. I wish they'd stop doing this.

I also got this super fun promotional package from Swoon Reads! I did a happy dance when I saw what it was. I love that tote!

Books I read this week:
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I'm currently reading:
Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt

Weirdly, and maybe surprisingly, considering I work in retail, but I am SO excited for Christmas. I dunno exactly what it is, I love Christmas as it is, but I'm even more excited for it this year than usual. The music! The food! The weather! (Though it's not that cold here, of course.)

Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review: Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy #2) by Rae Carson

Release date: September 27, 2016
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 416
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.

Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom.

The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
Sometimes I wonder if it's worth anyone's time for me to review Rae Carson's books any more. Why? Because, without fail, I give them 5 stars and rave, rave, rave. But, I like to rave and this is my space, so I think I'll rave about her a little bit more. Obviously, I loved Like a River Glorious.

Where Walk on Earth a Stranger is a road story, seeing Lee and Jefferson head across the country to find their futures and a home, Like a River Glorious follows our friends as they begin to set up that home and fight for it. And where Leah's uncle Hiram is largely a hovering, outside threat in WOEaS, he's up close and personal in LaRG. His motivations are hard to understand in the first book, but we see so much more of him here and begin to understand why he's pursuing Lee so hard.

What I especially appreciated was how the plights of the Native Americans and immigrants (but especially Chinese) were enumerated very heavily. A lot of that was glossed over a bit in the first book, but Rae rather unflinchingly (and seemingly accurately--I'd love to know how accurate if anyone knows?) shows the hardships these people had to survive. Jefferson is very sensitive, being half Native American, but I like that Lee needs a little bit of waking up to understand, because I think a lot of us are like that.

And ohh, the romance! The first book was so light in romance, but knowing how Rae can write a romance, I had faith it would come and my wait would be worth it. And it was. Leah and Jefferson are just too perfect. Even though the romance is a lot heavier in this book, it's still not the central focus. Lee and Jeff have a lot to do, even without making goo goo eyes at one another. (Though I'd still enjoy that book!)

Did I tell you I'd rave? I don't know where the final book in the Gold Seer Trilogy will go, but I'll be along for the ride with bells on!

About the author:

I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I moved to Ohio to marry my husband, who is the smartest man I know. We live in Columbus with my teenaged stepsons, who are awesome. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: Flashfall by Jenny Moyer

Release date: November 15, 2016
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner, Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.

But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.
Flashfall is a really interesting read. Some of it reminded me of other books, some of it seemed a little implausible, BUT it was definitely action-packed and I read very quickly. There are a few aspects that I think make Flashfall stand out, yet I don't know that it'll stand among the most memorable dystopians, either--though I can hope that I'm completely wrong.

Orion is the lead ore scout at her outpost, spending day after day mining cirium, giving her all to earn a place of safety for herself and those she loves. I really enjoyed so much of the opening, seeing Orion and Dram's dependence on and love for one another, figuring out the word Moyer created, and just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Of course, once that happens the pace picked up and never let up, but I also thought that was when some of the implausibility came out. A lot of what happens is interesting, brutal, and compelling, yet at other times it was just weird and didn't make the most sense.

Even with that, I couldn't help but love Orion for her steeliness and commitment. Of course I loved her relationship with Dram, and though it's definitely slow to fully develop, it's so worth the wait. Like I said, Flashfall is compelling and it'll make you race through the pages. You don't know how Orion and Dram could get out of the scrapes they get into, but you have to hope for them. And that ending! I hate myself a little bit for reading it so early because, while there's some closure, the ending's really just giving you a tease for what's to come.

So, even though I'm afraid Flashfall might get overlooked, because it seems like dystopians aren't performing very well recently, I hope that it'll get picked up. And even as there are some odd moments that didn't mesh to me, I loved Orion and Dram and rooted hard for their survival and a happy ending for them.

About the author:

Jenny Moyer grew up in Arizona, where she learned to fly before she could drive. She studied writing at Seattle Pacific University and co-owns Luminary Creative with her filmmaker husband, Jacob. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa, with her three boys and three-pound dog, Emmy. Flashfall is her debut.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Stacking the Shelves {159}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

Hi! I picked a bad week to come back to blogging. I don't know why I didn't think about it, but everything compouded, and I'm only now getting back to normal. First was my best friend's wedding (!!), then we did holiday changeover at work--which meant overnights--THEN I went to work at another store for a couple of days, which was unexpected and very interesting and also required over 3 hours of driving each day, and then I had a pile of homework to catch up on. Whew! So, now I'll be back to my normal schedule of work and class.

ANYWAY, on to the books! I'm pretty proud of the fact that I've not bought a bunch of things!

For review:

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Traveler by L.E. Delano

Vanguard by Ann Aguirre
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo
One for the Rogue by Charis Michaels


The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson

My Rae ARC collection is complete! I now have ARCs of every single one of her books, and I couldn't be more excited about it.

Goldenhand by Garth Nix
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Books I read this week:
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
When a Marquess Loves a Woman by Vivenne Lorret
The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath

I'm currently reading:
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

And now I'm off for 4 days and going to visit my best friend for a couple of days! I've also already started to listen to Christmas music--I'm one of those people. :)

Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review: Rebel Magisters (Rebel Mechanics #2) by Shanna Swendson

Release date: July 20, 2016
Author info: Website | Twitter
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Tea, Love ... and Revolution! 

The Rebel Mechanics aren't the only group plotting revolution against the magical British Empire. There are rebel magisters, as well, and Verity Newton and her magister employer, Lord Henry, know that the only way for the revolution to succeed is if both groups work together. A diplomatic mission seems like the perfect opportunity for them to meet with rebels in other colonies and gather support-right under the governor's nose. 

From drawing rooms, ballrooms, and the harbor in Boston to the streets of Charleston, Verity and Henry find themselves up against stubborn factions of both magisters and Mechanics and increasingly aware that they can only really count on each other as their relationship deepens. It may take a real crisis to unite the rebel movements and rally them to the cause-but could such a crisis also tear them apart?
Rebel Mechanics was one of my favorite--and definitely most fun!--books I read last year. I was so upset when I read on Shanna's website that Macmillan had not picked up any more books in the series--but excited to find out that she was pursuing self-publishing. Of course, I don't read too many self-published books, because I've had some bad experiences, but I needed to read Rebel Magisters! So, as soon as I could, I ordered myself a hardcover copy (must match my copy of the first book!) Despite any worries I might have had, I liked Rebel Magisters even more than Rebel Mechanics.

Just like its predecessor, Rebel Mechanics is alternate history, where there was no American Revolution and the United States are still part of the British Empire. But it seems like some kind of revolution is doomed to happen, because this time around, it's not just the Mechanics who want to be free from the rule of Britain. And with that, cue all the goodness of the first book--but on an even bigger scale! There are still Mechanics hijinks, but they're tied in with the magisters now, and of course things can't go smoothly.

And the romance! I was all aboard for the romance that begins in this book from the beginning of the first book, so each and every little tidbit I got only made me happier. It's all I can do to wait for the third book. I will never not need more Henry, quite honestly. He's still so wonderful and precious and I can't love him any more.

Like I said, everything I loved about the first book--Verity's fire, the great friendships, the endearing (and slooow, my goodness) romance--is back, it's better, and the stakes are higher! Gimme more now, please!

About the author:

Shanna Swendson is the author of the Enchanted, Inc. and Fairy Tale series of humorous contemporary fantasy novels. She’s also contributed essays to a number of books on pop-culture topics, including Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl, I Learned from Judy Blume, Serenity Found, Perfectly Plum, and So Say We All. When she’s not writing, she’s usually discussing books and television on the Internet, singing in or directing choirs, taking ballet classes, or attempting to learn Italian cooking. She lives in Irving, Texas, with several hardy houseplants and a lot of books.