ARC August

Read, Sleep, Repeat is hosting the 3rd annual ARC August. An event to inspire us to actually read some ARCs. I have enough that I could only read ARCs for the next year, so I’m definitely participating. Plus, I need to get my NetGalley rating WAY up, because I’ve been truly awful over there.

Basically, this is me with ARCs:

So, hopefully this will help me get through some of my TBR stack!

Rules:

The rules are very simple

  • It may be a physical ARC or and eARC but it MUST be an ARC
  • Yes it can be an ARC that has released as long as it’s an ARC I’m not going to nit pick much
  • HAVE FUN WITH THIS! Feeling like you are being “forced” to read is the best way turn a fun event into a yucky obligation.
  • Update post!

I have my BEA haul to choose from, plus The Truth According to Us, by Annie Barrow (NetGalley – that one came out last month, but I haven’t gotten to it yet). Maybe a few more NetGalley ones if I’m approved.

Will you be participating?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Recently Acquired Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Check out all of today’s participating blogs here.

About a month and a half ago, I acquired a lot of books.

Book Expo America day 1 haul. #bea2015

A post shared by Holly Bryant-Simpson (@hollishter) on

So, I’m going to be sifting through those for quite awhile. Right now I’m reading Illuminae and loving it.

I think next I’ll dive into either Girl Waits with Gun or Hunter.

I’m listening to Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro right now and will move to The Passion of Marie Romanov, by Laura Rose and Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng when I finish.

Finally, I borrowed Radi Os, by Ronald Johnson from a friend. It’s a book of poetry made by cutting away parts of Paradise Lost. It seems really cool and I’m excited to read it.

What books have you picked up recently?

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. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters You’d Like To Check In With

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish of a book-related top ten list. This week’s theme is Characters You’d Like to Check in With

 Cath, Fangirl
As you know, I love Fangirl. I love it enough that I miss the characters more than I probably should. If Cath could just drop me a note about how she, Wren, Levi, Reagan, and her dad are doing, I ‘d be really thankful.

 

The Whole Mayfair Clan, The Witching Hour
I read Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour in high school. I dragged this nearly 1,000 page hardcover book around high school with me for months, reading whenever I got a chance – sometimes when I probably shouldn’t have. I always preferred the Mayfair Witches over the Vampire Chronicles and I miss those ladies and their demons.

ShelleyThe Raising
This book started out so strong – the characters and their incredibly detailed lives! the mystery! the twists! But then the ended? I don’t mind an ending that open to imagination or interpretation, but this set up a whole lot of questions and gave me just about no answers. Shelley would tell me what happened.

 

Daenerys, A Song of Ice and Fire
The rest of the world and I are ready for the next ASOIAF book, please.

 

 

 

Laura, Searching for Grace Kelly
I just finished Searching for Grace Kelly this weekend and I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye when the story ended. The story takes place in the early 50s and I’d really love to talk to present-day Laura Dixon and the whole story.

 

 

Miles, Looking for Alaska
John Green is always doing this to me. I’ll go ahead and throw in Hazel and Q and Margo and Colin and everyone in any of his novels.

 

 

Lily Evans, Harry Potter
But, like, teenage Lily Evans. J.K. Rowling gives up peeks into life after the Battle of Hogwarts for Harry’s Generation, but I’m more interested in life in the previous generation. I would LOVE a new story focused on the Marauders.

 

Peeta, The Hunger Games trilogy
Duh.
I know I’m in the minority with my absolute love of Mockingjay – I didn’t want a happily ever after in this story. I wanted reality and I got it. But then I got a little fluffy epilogue where Katniss is somehow okay with having babies and settling down without any explanation of how and what happened. I did read one really wonderful fanfic that helped me move on. I’d link it, but apparently past-Holly didn’t bother to save it anywhere.

 

 

These last two aren’t book-related, but I’m going to toss them in anyway:

The whole cast of Empire Records.
This year marks the 20th Anniversary of this underrated movie. I watched it about a thousand times as a teenager, but haven’t in years because the only version I can find on DVD or Blu-Ray is the stupid Fan Remix, which is NOT THE ORIGINAL MOVIE. I still have the VHS (though no VCR) and will hold on to it until the original version is available on a modern format.

Chuck & Ned, Pushing Daisies

OTP. I miss them so much.

 

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.