Warcross (#1)

Holy smokes, this one blew me away!

Admittedly, it started off slow. Real slow. I read it aloud with my ten-year-old daughter and we were both a little bored by it. But somewhere along the way, it gained momentum and became the most action-packed, intense ride!

Think Hunger Games meets Ready Player One.

Warcross was pretty simple: two teams battled each other, one trying to take the other team’s Artifact (a shiny gem) without losing their own. What made it spectacular were the virtual worlds the battles were set in, each one so realistic that putting on your glasses was like dropping you right into that place.I picked this book up for my son (he’s twelve). He’s a very reluctant reader but had recently finished, and loved, Ready Player One. I’m not sure what prompted me to pick it up as a read-along with my daughter, but we both equally loved it and I can’t wait for my son to read it to see what he thinks!

I haven’t read any of Marie Lu’s work before, so I had no idea what I was getting into. But she proved herself to be a masterful storyteller – this story builds to an incredible climax and finishes with several mind-blowing twists. The cliffhanger at the end is perfect and made my daughter and I sad that we can’t run out tomorrow to continue on this fantastic ride!

As mentioned before, Lu has an amazing ability to write in detail. As I was reading it, I felt like I was watching an actual movie. I’m crossing my fingers this gets picked up and is made into a movie ASAP – I think it would be fun to see this one come to life (that’s something I NEVER say…if you know me, you know I am NOT a movie person…but I would definitely go see this one)!!

My only complaint is that there seemed to be some unnecessary narration that took away from the real story. But I forgive that tiny annoyance because the story is that good!

If you haven’t read this one yet, what are you waiting for?!?!?

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The Sun and Her Flowers

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I read and loved Milk and Honey (read my review here), but Rupi Kaur just took it to a whole new level with The Sun and Her Flowers!

I loved this collection of poems and know I will return to it over and over again. Kaur tackles a plethora of topics – love, relationships, break ups, death, grief, immigration, and feminism; I felt all the emotions!

Kaur is so talented! Her ability to pack a punch with very few words is inspiring and I can’t wait to read more in the future!

Oh, and her drawings? ❤

Rabbit Cake

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“Boomer died of old age, but I’d figured out by now that death never makes sense, no matter how someone dies: murder, accident, old age, cancer, suicide, you’re never ready to lose someone you love. I decided death will always feel unexplained; we will never be ready for it, and you just have to do the best you can with what you have left.”

After all the high praise I’ve heard about this book, I decided to give it a try. While this type of book isn’t my first choice, sometimes I need a heartwarming and quick read. I expected this one to fill that need but, unfortunately, it didn’t.

If I were a book quitter, I would have quit reading.

I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but I just can’t anymore with these types of books. Not only are the storylines super boring and predictable – but they’re also ridiculously lame.

Is a dad really going to let his troublemaking daughter drop out of school to bake 1,000 rabbit cakes in order to be featured in the Guiness Book of World Records?

Obviously, I’m missing the point and getting hung up on the wrong things, but please JUST STOP WITH IT ALREADY, authors!

If my ten-year-old daughter is capable of writing a more compelling book than a grown adult, we have a problem.

Fans of A Man Called Ove and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (you can read my review here) will probably adore this book (though I think both of these are better than Rabbit Cake).

I’m making my first New Year’s Resolution: I WILL STOP READING THESE KINDS OF BOOKS IN 2018! Sadly, they just don’t work for me.

A Visit From the Goon Squad

Hmm…well I’m not quite sure what to say or think about this one. 🤔

In the beginning, it took me awhile to find my rhythm, but then I found it and was loving the book’s distinct (though pretty confusing) writing style.

As I continued to read, I just found myself feeling very meh about the whole thing.

I didn’t care how it was going to all piece together.

I didn’t care about any of the characters.

I didn’t care period-the-end.

(I just got Manhattan Beach in my Book of the Month box so I’m hoping it’s better than this one, though I’ve heard mixed reviews.)

Thank you to the #bookshipproject for lending me the book!! If you haven’t signed up, head over to http://www.thebookshipproject.org for more information on this awesome service!!

Winter Stroll (#2) & Winter Storm (#3)

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I loved the first book in the Winter Street Inn series so much that I ran out to the library and checked out the next two as quickly as I could (read my review of Winter Street, #1, here). While I adored the first one, these two definitely lost some steam for me – especially Winter Storm (#3). I felt like the plot was too predictable at times and the Quinn family is just becoming too unrealistic to me – I mean, ex-lovers all hanging out together, ex-husbands giving their wives away?? **insert eyeroll** – it’s all just too much for me. Also, I lost all allegiance to the series when I Hilderbrand worked another one of her books into the story in Winter Storm. (#sorrynotsorry…I HATE when author’s self-promote like that!) I doubt I’ll continue on with the last book in the series (Winter Solstice #4), so feel free to DM me if you’ve read it and tell me what happens! (I’m totally not kidding – Does Kelley die? Does Ava marry Potter? What happens to Nathanial?)

 

 

The Immortalists

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**Thank you to Putnam for my free final copy in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.**

If you could know the date of your death, would you want to?

When my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer ten years ago, I met with a genetic counselor to assess my personal risk. Leading up to the decision, my husband and I discussed all angles of my choice and it brought on some very deep discussions. From the very beginning, there was no question in my mind that I would have the test taken – I wanted to be hypervigilant with my body because I believe that the sooner you recognize there could be a problem, the better. However, my husband, if given the same choice, was adamant that he wouldn’t want to know. He said he would refuse to take any kind of test that would tell him his chances of getting certain diseases or illnesses. While that thought process personally baffles me, I don’t begrudge him his choice.

While learning your liklihood of getting various diseases is not the same as knowing the exact date of your death, this book made me ponder what my choice would be if put in the same situation as Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon. If you’d have asked me in my younger years, I’m sure my answer would have unequivocally been, “YES!”, but as I’ve gotten older, I think I might resist the temptation.

As the children find out, knowing the date of your death could quite possibly change the very way you chose to live. This book is magical in every single way – from the psychic who makes these predictions to Benjamin’s writing. I was enraptured by the whole story from the very first line.

While the book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, I found it to be such an enjoyable read and was so disappointed when it ended. I wanted to follow the siblings on their journey’s forever. I haven’t read Bejamin’s first novel, The Anatomy of Dreams, but I plan on getting my hands on a copy soon.

This was my first read of 2018 and it set the bar high. If this is setting the tone for the rest of the year, I’m excited!!

This book’s publishing date is Tuesday, January 9th. Be sure to pre-order or plan a trip to the bookstore so you can see what the buzz is all about!

 

The Essex Serpent

Two things totally made me buy this one: the cover! 😍, and a rave review from Annie B. Jones (she named it one of her favorite reads of 2017). Soooooo,

I strug.gled to get through this one.

I kept hoping the build up was slow in order to set the scene, but no, it was just slow all the way through. There was a lot of anticipation around this so-called beast, The Essex Serpent, but that plot line literally never came to fruition. I’m sorry, but when you name the title of a book after that which is being sought, there better be something there! It’s just hard for me to overcome a disappointment that big.

I enjoyed Cora’s character. She’s a quirky and unconventional protagonist who is easy to adore. Recently widowed from a man she wasn’t exactly head-over-heels for, she gains her independence in admirable ways. The story was somewhat saved for me by Cora, so I’m grateful for that.

The writing wasn’t terrible. There were glimmers of hope that the story was on the verge of turning around (that, quite honestly, is probably how I kept reading instead of abandoning it all together), it just never did.

This book had similar vibes to The Signature of All Things; however, where The Essex Serpent failed, The Signature of All Things totally delivered. If you were to chose, definitely go with Signature over this one!

(I know the calendar says January 2, but this was my last read of 2017 – slid right under the radar on NYE ⏰🎊. I’m just now getting it posted because vacation…🌵☀️)