Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

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Hosted by The Broke & The Bookish

There are a lot of hyped books that I’m not interested in reading, but for today, I went with ones I do want to read.

1. An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir – I’ve seen this reviewed everywhere. One of my best friends has been talking about this book that he’s loving and I only realized a few days ago that this is the book to which he’s referring. So, that’s on my TBB (to be borrowed) list.

2. A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

3. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon – I have this one on audio, but haven’t started it yet. I’m not afraid of long audiobooks, but I haven’t felt ready to commit yet.

4. Cinder, by Marissa Meyer

5. An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay

6. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

7. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro (just got the audiobook, so hopefully I’ll be checking it off my list soon).

8. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline (on audio, narrated by Wil Wheaton, obviously)

9. None of the Above, by I.W. Gregorio

10.Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas – I don’t know if this one is one I’ll actually like or not, but I’ve seen it reviewed and recommended so much that I’ve got to try it out.

I just finished listening to The Martian, by Andy Weir, narrated by R.C. Bray and it lives up to all the hype. Review forthcoming.

What books have you seen hyped but haven’t read yet?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

I’ve loved everything I’ve read of Rainbow Rowell’s. Not like, “5 stars, this book is great!”, love, but like her books are so precious that I love them like friends. And this isn’t just a new Rainbow novel, it’s a new piece of Fangirl, so I am extra excited for Carry On.

  

Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff; Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon; Everybody Rise, by Stephanie Clifford.

So, I picked up these three as ARCs at BEA (along with quite a few others), so I don’t know if that counts as anticipating, but I haven’t read any of them yet and I’m excited for all three. The hardcover of Illuminae is GORGEOUS.

I assume Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee is going to be on everyone’s list.

Today is the release day for The Truth According to Us, by Annie Barrows, but I’m still going to include it because I don’t have it yet and I still anticipate reading it. 🙂

Audiobook Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Narrator: Michael Crouch
Run-time: 6 hrs, 45 mins

GoodReads synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing with, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

My Review: 

Me + This Book Me + This Book

Simon, 17, finds solace in his family, friendships, and anonymously exchanging emails with someone who calls himself “Blue”. All that is threatened when a classmate stumbles across Simon’s emails with Blue and threatens to out Simon to the whole school if he doesn’t help him get what he wants. The story follows Simon as he tries to live his normal life – high school, drama club, his almost-too-supportive family, his friends and their dramas, falling for Blue, trying to figure out who Blue is – all while being blackmailed.

I loved it. Simon’s story is touching and swoon-worthy. Start to finish the characters are all lovable and relatable and real. It’s about high schoolers and high school drama but was able to avoid the eye roll-inducing effect that some YA has on adult readers. The atmosphere of Simon’s high school seemed so real and so Today- for example, rumors are spread and secrets are shared through the school’s Tumblr and the Spier family has Facebook scavenger hunts on Christmas Eve.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Michael Crouch. He has a really great YA voice and captured Simon’s emotions expertly. His character voices were subtle but distinct. I’ll look out for more narrated by him.

The story takes place in Metro Atlanta. My life also takes place in Metro Atlanta, so the references to local places were a really fun bonus. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a really wonderful book and, if you like YA, should be your next book.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books From My Childhood That I Would Love to Revisit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/event hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

Today’s them is Top 10 Books From My Childhood (Or teen years) That I Would Love To Revisit

The Get Along Gang (I can’t be sure if it was this specific title or another). I was obssesed. Zipper Cat was my favourite character. I dressed up as him for Halloween. This was the first book I ever memorized. According to my mom, I could read it, but I remember Green Eggs and Ham being the first book I really read.

  

My Side of the Mountainby Jean Craighead George; Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls; Bunnicula, by Deborah and James Howe.

These three were assigned school readings and I LOVED them. My Side of the Mountain was the one that I checked out of the library over and over. Perhaps the first two are more classic than Bunnicula, but this vampire-bunny is one of my go-to bizarre pop culture references and it is so exciting when someone knows what I’m talking about.

  

Animorphs, by K.A. Applegate; The Bailey School Kids, by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones; Goosebumps, by R.L. Stine.

Um, I was a child in the ’90s. Obviously I loved all of these. A friend of mine re-read all of the Goosebumps books recently. I think I may follow suit and pick a few titles out of these series to enjoy again.

  

Ameilia’s Notebook, by Marissa Moss, Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey; The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, by Jon Scieszka

I bought every one of these at a Scholastic Book Fair and still have them.

There was also this book series and I cannot remember the name of it or pretty much anything about it except that each book was told from a different character’s perspective and used a specific font/handwriting for that character. Maybe diary-style. Anyone know what I’m talking about?

Book Review: Seeker

Seeker
Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Format: e-ARC
Synopsis: Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.

Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin’s new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.

Review: If I gave stars, this would get a 3.5. It’s enjoyable and better than average, but flawed.

Arwen Elys Dayton’s Seeker is a rich fantasy novel, with developed, complex, flawed characters. The story is told from different points of view, some over the course of centuries. I won’t call the narrators unreliable, as they told the truth as they saw it, but their truth was far from objective. I found myself understanding and agreeing with a character’s viewpoint and motivations one chapter, then disagreeing and seeing him as a villain upon seeing him from a different characters perspective.

Seeker started out a bit slow. Especially because all the foreshadowing made it clear that a lot of action was coming. There was such anticipation built that every chapter of build-up felt a bit dragging. Once the action started, though, it was breakneck. Other sections later in the book dragged on a bit, too, again because of the building anticipation. I just wanted to slap the characters into action a few times. I was also confused about the time-setting of the story. When Dayton jumped into one character’s past, she gave specific dates to establish how far in the past we were. But the story’s present time is very unclear. Many of the aspects of their world are very futuristic, but some are modern or even historical. It made the fantasy world harder to picture.

My favourite character was Maud. She provided an interesting perspective, being both very much inside the world of Quin, Shinobu, & John and still an outsider. I look forward to seeing more of her in the next installment.

Overall, this book is an impressive young adult story and I’d recommend it to fans of fantasy who have the patience & dedication to keep reading until the action picks up.

Book Review: Perfect Match

Perfect Match

Author: Jodi Picoult

Synopsis: Picoult brings to life a female prosecutor whose cherished family is shattered when she learns that her five-year-old son has been sexually abused.

What does it mean to be a good mother?
How far would you go in the name of love — and justice?

In the course of her everyday work, career-driven assistant district attorney Nina Frost prosecutes child molesters and works determinedly to ensure that a legal system with too many loopholes keeps these criminals behind bars. But when her own five-year-old son, Nathaniel, is traumatized by a sexual assault, Nina and her husband, Caleb, a quiet and methodical stone mason, are shattered, ripped apart by an enraging sense of helplessness in the face of a futile justice system that Nina knows all too well. In a heartbeat, Nina’s absolute truths and convictions are turned upside down, and she hurtles toward a plan to exact her own justice for her son — no matter the consequence, whatever the sacrifice.

Review: Jodi Picoult books are all kind of the same – a family drama that revolves around a court case, the characters are likable, but flawed, there is a plot twist in the middle and another shock at the end. Picoult works that formula well, though. I’m always drawn in and none of the twists are predictable (to me, at least). The thing is, they end up kind of forgettable because they are all the same. I’ve picked up her work before thinking it was new-to-me, only to get a few chapters in and realize I’d already read it. I keep picking up her books to read, though, because I do really enjoy them.

Perfect Match was the same. A quick, engaging read. I’d recommend any of Picoult’s books, but don’t expect them to leave a lasting mark.