Wednesday, January 25, 2017

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY (January 25): Favorite Underrated Books


Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top three favorite underrated books:

Give some love to those books that aren't as widely talked about. Those hidden gems. Those books that maybe used to be popular but people have forgotten about and they still deserve some love. 


3. If I Stay
by Gayle Forman

4374400

This was a movie based on the book about 2 years ago, but it seems as though most people have forgotten about it. I mostly read it for Chloe Grace Moretz playing the lead character Mia, but I enjoyed the book. It was very emotional and made me think of what would happen if I'd lost my family. 

2. Hush, Hush
by Becca Fitzpatrick

6339664

Another book-turned-possible-movie that people have forgotten about. Granted, this fell into the era of vampires, fallen angels, and mystical, magical creatures. But at the same time, after the movie got scrapped, people just moved on to different things. Sad. 

1. Wendy Darling
by Colleen Oakes


25175898

Colleen is mostly known for her Queen of Hearts series, but not a lot of people know about her Wendy Darling trilogy, which is based on a Peter Pan retelling. I've only read the first book Stars, but it's so good, and I'd love it if more people knew about it. 

So those are my three favorite underrated books. I tried to include books I haven't talked about in awhile (sorry, Anomaly, Ignite the Shadows, Books,Blogs,and Reality, and Running in the Dark!). I'd love to know your choices in the comments below. 


Follow me on:


Thanks for reading! :) ♥

TOP TEN TUESDAY: FREEBIE: Favorite Book Quotes


Hosted by Jamie, Jana and Lauren of BrokeandBookish.com, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly book meme that presents top ten lists on Tuesdays that promotes favorite bookish themes.

This week's theme:

January 24:  FREEBIE --- that super specific list you want to make?? All yours to tackle this week!

This week, I'll be sharing my favorite book quotes!

5. Discovering April 
by Sheena Hutchinson

25225860

There's so many favorite quotes, but here are a few.

“Apes, it’s always been you. I’ve been in love with you since the moment I first saw you. I just didn’t know what it meant. I’ve played beside you, I’ve watched you go to prom, I watched you walk through the halls at school, I’ve seen you crying over boys that didn’t deserve you, I’ve seen you kiss guys that could never love you. I didn’t want to say anything. I didn’t want to kiss you before because . . . I don’t want to be your rebound. I don’t want to be just another guy—because I am the guy for you.” - Jared

“April, I know you are perfectly capable of opening a door or pulling out your own chair. Chivalrous acts like this, done as a sign of respect to you. “Men, real men, that is, do these things for women, not because we have to, but because we feel they deserve to be honored in some small, tiny way every single day,” - Jared

"I watch as he slowly pulls his shirt up and over his head. I’m not staring at his abs anymore because along the side of his ribs I see a clear wrap like mine. He got a tattoo, too. Jared peels it off, and beneath the clear plastic, an infinity symbol takes shape. It’s darker than mine is, a little bigger and wrapped around and through it—is a blood red rose with thorns. “You see April—you’ve shaped my life as well.” “And why did you choose the rose?” I ask breathlessly as my eyes stare, unbelieving. “It’s you.” He pauses, taking a step closer to me, and I lift my eyes up to his. “Because once you get past the thorns, you’re absolutely beautiful.” - Jared and April

You can tell I'm in love with Jared, right? ;)

4. How to Be Cool
by Annie Carr

29423234

But no matter what," Laura says. "I will always remember my first love, how sweet and cute he was, and how much I loved him. And I'll never regret it."

I wrap my arms around her tighter. I don't want to let her go. I can't, actually, because if I do, I'll fall on my face. But that's not the only reason why. I love her. I'll never stop loving her. But she's right --- we're both destined to move on. But that doesn't mean I want this moment to be over. I lean in and whisper in her ear: "One more dance?"

Laura smiles at me and nods. "Yes," she says. "One more dance."

The ending of this book always makes me feel such bittersweet feelings... :(

3. Running in the Dark
by Inger Iversen

14290451

"Why are you so damned nosey?" - Bessina
"I've never been called nosey. Annoyingly charming and inquisitive, but never nosey." - Trace

Oh, Trace!! XD

2. Under My Skin
by Laura Diamond

29080076

"It's okay. I know I've gone mad and I've scared you. You don't deserve this." 

"As long as you don't run away from me again."

"I couldn't if I wanted to." He laces his fingers with mine. "Darby, I want you to know something." His brow furrows as his gaze searches mine.

"What?"

He swallows. "I don't trust Shaw. I never have. But I do trust you."

1. Ignite the Shadows
by Ingrid Seymour

24595250

"Xave humors me and begins his story. “That jackass kept me out of the loop.” I’m guessing he means Aydan, but I don’t know why he keeps calling him a jackass. I mean, I know he’s a jackass, but I don’t know how Xave reached the same conclusion so soon. I resolve not to interrupt, hoping any questions I have are answered along the way."

So those are my favorite quotes from books so far. Notice how I tried to go for diverse authors in honor of DiverseAThon 2017 this year. It promotes reading books of diverse background, whether in race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity and culture. More info on that here!

I'd love to know your fave quotes in the comments below. 


Follow me on:


Thanks for reading! :) ♥

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

#DIVERSEATHON 2017: Reading Diversely in the Blogging Community @_diversebooks


In case you haven't heard, Diverse-A-Thon 2017 has begun!! It is a time for all of us to branch out of our comfort zones and read from different perspectives, whether that's in gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or culture. I discussed the event when it occured for the first time last year, so here's a recap. Christina Marie from Lulo Fangirl, Joce from SquibblesReads, and Monica from SheMightBeMonica, and Simon from SavidgeReads are all hosting this year, and I'm so excited to join them in the conversations again. 

This year, they decided to incorproate bloggers and Instagram users to use their creativity to spread the event, and since I use both, I thought it would be best to discuss the blogging part here. 

Naz from Read Diverse Books has created an amazing contest for bloggers to join in:

I want to start 2017 by announcing the natural extension of Read Diverse Books Year-Round review link-ups and giveaways I started in 2016. I will simply title it Read Diverse 2017 and will use the hashtag #ReadDiverse2017 when I promote it.

Important notes on how #ReadDiverse2017 will work:
Every review that you link up will earn you 1 point, which I will track and tally. Once you link up 5 reviews, you I will have earned the first badge! I will then send you an email (visible to me after you link up a review) every time you earn a new badge so that you may add the graphic to your blog sidebar. Every 3 months I will provide a general update on my blog showing all the bloggers participating, the points they’ve earned, and their current badge status.
The goal is to encourage bloggers to read and review more diverse books throughout 2017. Or just to promote diversity in literature in general! The more books you review, the more badges you will earn. There are 4 badges that everyone can earn, but one badge in particular will hold the highest honor. 

Below are the graphics for the badges. Note the different point levels. 


You will earn badges after earning 5, 10, 20, and 30 points respectively. 




Some people will be able to reach the 30 point mark without any problem, well before the year ends. However, I want to be fair to all bloggers and I think 30 points is a reasonable goal to strive for. Competitive bloggers and passionate lovers of diverse literature can attempt to earn the title Diverse Book Blogger Of The Year! This will be the person who links up the highest number of reviews / blog posts. That number may end up being 31 or 50. Surprise me!

What does the Diverse Book Blogger Of The Year win?

A gorgeous badge and some neat prizes! 



Prizes, to be awarded at the end of 2017.


  • $50 USD worth of credit for Book Deposity, Wordery, or Amazon. 
  • or
  • A book subscription box of your choice. International bloggers are welcome!!
  • Ex: Owl Crate, My Lit Box, Uppercase, etc. 
  • Update! There will be a runner-up Diverse Book Blogger Of The Year. This will be the person with the second most blog posts and reviews linked up.


Aentee from Read At Midnight has generously offered to award the runner up a blog makeover (header, blog button, signature, and rating system)!
If you do not have a blog, you may choose to have a mug specially designed for you instead!
However, the Diverse Book Blogger Of The Year gets first choice. If they want the blog makeover instead, they can choose it and the other prize will go to the runner up.

There is no limit to how many posts you may link up. The only limitation is time — the link-up will close on March 31st at 11:55 p.m Central Standard Time. Another will then be created that lasts yet another 3 months.


  • Traditional online blogs, Tumblr, and Goodreads (for the blog-less) will all count for the giveaway.
  • All reviews must be at least 300-350 words long, longer and thoughtful reviews are preferred. Quotes and unnecessary padding will not be counted. 
  • I will judge each blog post linked on a case by case basis. I will offer some word count leeway for posts such as listicles, blog tours, cover reveals, etc.
  • You may only add one link of a book you’ve reviewed per individual book. Meaning, you may not add your blog review and your Goodreads review for the same book. Only one counts. I will check for this. Do not cheat or I will be sad! I will also notice and delete links that look fishy. Don’t try me. 🙂
  • Only blog posts published in 2017 will count!! It’s Read Diverse 2017, after all.

My DiverseAThon TBR List this year is:

7937843

  • Room by Emma Donoghue - I'm mostly reading it for my Meetup book club group later this month, but I know it doesn't count as a diverse read. Most of the characters are of white/American points of view, but I didn't want to pass an opportunity to read it. 
28688476

  • Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz - I've been wanting to check this book out for awhile now, so I hope that it's as good as everyone says. Plus, it's part of #ownvoices because the main character, Jasmine de los Santos, and the author herself are both of Filipina descent. It will be interesting to hear from an international woman's perspective on immigration and family. 
I hope to get to my TBR this week, and add more in my list this year. Let me know your choices for DiverseAThon this year in the comments below!



Follow me on:


Thanks for reading! :) ♥

Thursday, January 19, 2017

#T5W TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Polarizing Reads


Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top five polarizing reads.

Mind you, I have not read most of these books, I'm just going by what others have told me about these books, and what I have seen on social media. But let's get into it!

5. Carve the Mark/We Will Be Mended Epilogue
by Veronica Roth

Image result for carve the mark racist

There has been a whole bunch of controversy behind Veronica's new novel, especially due to the underlying racism of the white characters hunting and killing down of dark-skinned "otherworldly" characters. I did a little reading and found this note from JustInAIreland.com:

In Carve the Mark the first introduction we get to the Shotet is the male main character, Akos, thinking about how “fierce, brutal” the Shotet are.  They killed his grandmother and the reader is told that the cities of the Thuve (who are ostensibly white since they are described by their ability to blush and their light eyes) still bear the marks of Shotet aggression.  The first on page appearance of the Shotet is when they arrive unexpectedly at Akos’ family farm and murder his father before kidnapping him and his brother. 

These coincidences in world building aren’t happenstance.  Rather, it’s because both authors, whether consciously or not, are pulling from the story tradition of the white hero versus the dark enemy.  We see this construct in many facets of fiction, such as Westerns where Cowboys versus Indians or thrillers where the American hero (usually white) faces down a dark skinned third world villain.  It’s a popular construct, and one that relies on othering people of color to make it work.

It's definitely telling just imagining what this world looks like. Also, when readers get a copy of this book, they also get to read a new epilogue of the Divergent Series: Allegiant book, called We Will Be Mended. If you thought CTM was bad, WWBM is........whoa... I won't spoil in case people don't want to be, but let's just say that this will make the Initiates (are they still called that fan name?) really angry. I'm already pretty pissed that Roth's publishing label, HarperCollins gave her the okay to do this. If the scrapped final movie/TV project wasn't the last straw for this series, WWBM may just be. 

4. Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas

Image result for sarah j maas controversy

While I have not read this, I have heard many problematic things about how there is a huge lack of diversity in characterization. And with me being a WOC who loves to see herself in the things she reads, it's become harder to side with SJMaas and her issues. And while there are many books out there that also have little to no diversity in them, it's not as prevalent as it is in TOG. However, as many issues as this book has in it, it does not give people the excuse to send hate mail or death threats to SJMaas. I don't condone hate of any magnitude. I just hope Sarah sees the error of her ways and learns from them enough to do better. 

3. The Mortal Instruments
by Cassandra Clare

Image result for mortal instruments books

When this series first was released as a trilogy, I was so excited, and so were many other fans! But then the movie kinda bombed, and I'd lost touch with the series overall. Now with the show back on for 2 seasons, it's brought the energy back to the series. People either love it or don't care for it because they think the show is wack lol. I like both the show and books though.

2. Fifty Shades of Grey
by E.L. James

10818853

Now whoever knows me knows I do not like this series lol. When it first came out, it seemed like it was either loved or hated. Then the movie came out 2 years ago, and it was just ADORED and "OMGGG DAKOTA JOHNSON IS SO HOT" and "OMGGG JAMIE DORNAN IS SO SEXY" and "OMGGG JAKOTA JAKOTA ARE SUCH GOALS OMGG I LUV THEM" and I'm just like 

filmeditor movie set it off go away next

Like I'd like for the next few years to move on just as fast because I know there's still 2 more books left to transform into movies, please... (sorrynotsorry :P)

1. Twilight
by Stephenie Meyer

Image result for twilight

I'll love this series, I'll always love this series. Hell, I write fanfiction on this series, as well as a fansite based on two of the actors from this series. People either love or hate this series, but I don't. I can't. I won't. Sure, it has its issues, but I don't expect it to be perfect, just the way it is. And it's shaped many of what YA books are today, and I'm so grateful for it.

So those are my top polarizing books. I'd love to know your choices in the comments below. 


Follow me on:


Thanks for reading! :) ♥

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY (January 11): 2017 Debuts I'm Excited For


Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top five 2017 debuts I'm looking forward to.

Since I just did a topic like this in last week's Top Ten Tuesday post, I'll repost that entry here:

5. Caraval
by Stephanie Garber

27883214

This reminds me of an upgraded version of The Hunger Games, but I like it!!

Synopsis:

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . . 

Welcome, welcome to Caraval—Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. 

4. Four Weeks, Five People
by Jennifer Yu

32336077

I haven't read a lot of books with mental illness, 
but this book sounds interesting enough to break me in. 

They're more than their problems

Obsessive-compulsive teen Clarissa wants to get better, if only so her mother will stop asking her if she's okay.

Andrew wants to overcome his eating disorder so he can get back to his band and their dreams of becoming famous.

Film aficionado Ben would rather live in the movies than in reality.

Gorgeous and overly confident Mason thinks everyone is an idiot.

And Stella just doesn't want to be back for her second summer of wilderness therapy.

As the five teens get to know one another and work to overcome the various disorders that have affected their lives, they find themselves forming bonds they never thought they would, discovering new truths about themselves and actually looking forward to the future.

3. Stef Soto, Taco Queen
by Jennifer Torres

25150366

This seems like a sweet and funny book to get into. 

Estefania "Stef" Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family's taco truck. She wants nothing more than for her dad to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be put out to pasture. It's no fun being known as the "Taco Queen" at school. But just when it looks like Stef is going to get exactly what she wants, and her family's livelihood is threatened, she will have to become the truck's unlikely champion.


2. The Education of Margot Sanchez
by Lilliam Rivera

26594801

This novel seems like a very emotional one, one that will take Margot, the main character, break out of those defense mechanisms she's built herself into. 

Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.


THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father's credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot 
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts. 

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal. 


1. How to be a Bawse:
A Guide to Conquering Life
by Lilly Singh

31202835

There's no telling how f---ing excited I am for Lilly (aka IISuperwomanII) and her debut guide book to drop in March!! I hope it's as hilarious as her Youtube videos. 

From actress, comedian, and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh (aka ||Superwoman||) comes the definitive guide to being a bawse—a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side. Told in her hilarious, bold voice that’s inspired over nine million fans, and using stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no shortcuts to success. WARNING: This book does not include hopeful thoughts, lucky charms, and cute quotes. That’s because success, happiness, and everything else you want in life needs to be fought for—not wished for. In Lilly’s world, there are no (I think a word is missing from Goodreads' page for this book. :/ )

So those are my most anticipated 2017 debuts coming out. I'd love to know your choices in the comments below.


Follow me on:


Thanks for reading! :) ♥

TOP TEN TUESDAY #32: 2016 Missed Opportunities...That I Hope to Get to This Year


Hosted by Jamie, Jana and Lauren of BrokeandBookish.com, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly book meme that presents top ten lists on Tuesdays that promotes favorite bookish themes.

This week's theme:

January 10: Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To (But TOTALLY plan to)

25543223

5. Eclipse the Flame
by Ingrid Seymour

When I'd first heard that Ingrid's first book Ignite the Shadows was coming, I was so excited!! But I'm sad to say that I never got the chance to read it in 2016. I hope this year, I get to see what happens in book 2.

Synopsis:


In the new world of The Takeover nothing and no one will be safe. Marci must choose: love or vengeance.

One night she secretly follows her lover to a club. To her horror she discovers those closest to her, mingling freely with parasitic creatures which have secretly possessed human minds. A bloody ambush follows, leaving Marci a shadow of her former self.

Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious attacks. Ignite, the only resistance group, is disintegrating. As the world catches fire, Marci struggles to control the buzzing spectres in her own head.

Her hardest battle is between the forces of good and evil within herself. For Marci must fight. She was meant to burn. 

25036198

4. Hooker Heels
by Ryan Ringbloom

Ryan gave me two copies of this book, and the one below it as a gift for my obsession with her 2014 book, Books, Blogs and Reality, and I have yet to read those. Sorry, Ryan! I still love you and your crazy photos on Instagram! I hope to read them both this year. Especially Fake Boobs, that one sounds really good. 

Synopsis: 


Kenna Winston's world revolves around money, and the men who spend it. Men are mere pawns in the game that she calls life. However, her game is about to change once she's offered a business contract with some interesting caveats. Kenna has to decide whether she is ready to up the ante and play in the big leagues. Or decide if the proposal being offered is crossing the line, even for her. With her heels high and morals low, she wonders what will happen if her heart gets involved?

Oh that's right, she doesn't have one.

Zackary Knight has always had things handed to him. That's not the life he wants. Can't anyone see that he goes deep, that he's more than just a shallow dollar sign? Who is this beautiful woman who just appeared on his doorstep? Is she someone he can finally open his heart up to?

Because his heart, it's a big one.

Warning: Mature Content 

24928705

3. Fake Boobs
by Ryan Ringbloom

Synopsis:


Tori Albert is eighteen, her confidence level is zero. Her life experience…also zero. She’s a girl lost in the shuffle, hiding in the shadows, craving attention. If only someone, anyone, would notice her, maybe life would improve. 

Grant Donovan can’t stop noticing Tori, but she is young, inexperienced and naïve. She is also his best friend’s younger sister. Grant knows the best thing he can do is just walk away. So why the hell isn’t he walking away?

When a late night knock lands across her bedroom door, Tori knows what stands behind it could end in disaster…but how many time does opportunity come knocking?

Just when she thinks her luck is finally changing, the assurance Tori believes she has finally found is taken away. With new assets and a new goal in sight, Tori will soon learn her new found confidence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Unfortunately, some things you just have to learn the hard way. 


*Contains Mature Content 
26365537

2. Kindred Spirits
by Rainbow Rowell

I was supposed to read this book for #CramAThon, started by Whitney from WhittyNovels. I thought it would be a fast-as-hell read, since it's a novella and not a full novel. But alas, I never got to read it. Hope to get to it real soon, because I've actually never read any of Rainbow's books. 

Synopsis:


'Everybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.'
'Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?' 
'Maybe.' 

If you broke Elena's heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she's expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she's not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day.

28650500

1. Wendy Darling: Seas
by Colleen Oakes

Another sequel I was excited for but never got to lol. Hope to this year, because I really liked Colleen's first book, Wendy Darling: Stars. Peter Pan was so bad and so dirty, and so conniving!! 

Synopsis:


Wendy Darling: Seas finds Wendy and Michael aboard the dreaded Sudden Night, a dangerous behemoth sailed by the infamous Captain Hook and his bloodthirsty crew. In this exotic world of mermaids, spies, and pirate feuds, Wendy finds herself struggling to keep her family above the waves. Hunted by the twisted boy who once stole her heart and struggling to survive in the whimsical Neverland sea, returning home to London now seems like a distant dream—and the betrayals have just begun. 

Will Wendy find shelter with Peter’s greatest enemy, or is she a pawn in a much darker game—one that could forever alter not only her family’s future but also the soul of Neverland itself?

So those are my top missed opportunities for 2016 that I hope to get to this year. I'd love to know your choices in the comments below. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY (January 4): 2017 Goals


Hey guys! This is a new feature I joined from Goodreads' Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly book group about our top five favorite things in the middle of the week.

Created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and now hosted by Samantha from ThoughtsonTomes, this week's entry describes the top five goals I'd like to work on this new year.

5. Traveling Around NJ/NYC Area

I've never been one to actually want to travel, even within my own area in which I live. I'm born and raised on New Jersey, where not a lot happens, at least not in the county I live in. Talking with my family and realizing the things they've done and the experiences they've had outside of the home, made me kinda want to just venture out with them and do something different. Even if it's just around my own little state, it's something fun to do.

4. Read and Review More Diversely

Since last year's first official Diverse-A-Thon, it's made me want to read more diversely, whether of authors of color, the LGBTQIA community, or disabilities. I have several different books in my TBR list this year, and I feel like it's only the beginning of my new venture. 

Since I was about 10, I've only read one way: straight, white, and able-bodied. Hell, my first books that I'd gotten from my public library were the Baby-Sitters Club books! But as I've gotten older, I've realized those tropes of reading were stunting my growth as a human being. I want to challenge myself with more diverse reads so we can talk about them and educate ourselves. 

3. Write More Reviews

I already do so much posting as it is, but I hardly do reviews anymore. School and work and laziness have taken over, and I think I'm ready to overcome all three to do some more reviews!

2. Gather More Subscribers

I usually don't care for subscribers like that, but since I started my new MailChimp service, I actually want to see more growth in my list. So far, I have 10 subscribers, and I'd like to reach 20 by year's end. I know that's not a lot, but it is for me. Baby steps!!

1. Finish my story, 'Life as I Know It'

For those who don't know, as well as a book blogger and contributor to different websites, I also dab in a little (ok, a lot!) of fanfiction--- particularly Twilight fanfiction with the alias Paralighter4ever, on Fanfiction.net. I've already had two completed multi-chapter stories, as well as a couple one-shots (single story entries). But as for my most recent fanfic, Life as I Know It, I have not been able to finish it. I'm only on chapter 26, and don't really have a format or outline for the rest of the story. I hope as this year goes on, that I can get out of this funk and write something good. 

So those are my 2017 goals. I'd love to know yours in the comments below.


Follow me on:


Thanks for reading! :) ♥

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY #31: Most Anticipated 2017 Debuts


Hosted by Jamie, Jana and Lauren of BrokeandBookish.com, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly book meme that presents top ten lists on Tuesdays that promotes favorite bookish themes.

This week's theme:

January 3, 2017: Top Ten 2017 Debuts I'm Excited For

Since it's a brand new year, I'm trying a new leaf where I read more diversely. Aside from the fifth author introduced, all other authors will be of color.

~oOoOoOo~

5. Caraval
by Stephanie Garber

27883214

This reminds me of an upgraded version of The Hunger Games, but I like it!!

Synopsis:

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . . 

Welcome, welcome to Caraval—Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.


Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. 

4. Four Weeks, Five People
by Jennifer Yu

32336077

I haven't read a lot of books with mental illness, 
but this book sounds interesting enough to break me in. 

They're more than their problems

Obsessive-compulsive teen Clarissa wants to get better, if only so her mother will stop asking her if she's okay.

Andrew wants to overcome his eating disorder so he can get back to his band and their dreams of becoming famous.

Film aficionado Ben would rather live in the movies than in reality.

Gorgeous and overly confident Mason thinks everyone is an idiot.

And Stella just doesn't want to be back for her second summer of wilderness therapy.


As the five teens get to know one another and work to overcome the various disorders that have affected their lives, they find themselves forming bonds they never thought they would, discovering new truths about themselves and actually looking forward to the future.

3. Stef Soto, Taco Queen
by Jennifer Torres

25150366

This seems like a sweet and funny book to get into. 

Estefania "Stef" Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family's taco truck. She wants nothing more than for her dad to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be put out to pasture. It's no fun being known as the "Taco Queen" at school. But just when it looks like Stef is going to get exactly what she wants, and her family's livelihood is threatened, she will have to become the truck's unlikely champion.

2. The Education of Margot Sanchez
by Lilliam Rivera

26594801

This novel seems like a very emotional one, one that will take Margot, the main character, break out of those defense mechanisms she's built herself into. 

Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.


THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father's credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot 
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts. 

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal. 

1. How to be a Bawse:
A Guide to Conquering Life
by Lilly Singh

31202835

There's no telling how f---ing excited I am for Lilly (aka IISuperwomanII) and her debut guide book to drop in March!! I hope it's as hilarious as her Youtube videos. 

From actress, comedian, and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh (aka ||Superwoman||) comes the definitive guide to being a bawse—a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side. Told in her hilarious, bold voice that’s inspired over nine million fans, and using stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no shortcuts to success. WARNING: This book does not include hopeful thoughts, lucky charms, and cute quotes. That’s because success, happiness, and everything else you want in life needs to be fought for—not wished for. In Lilly’s world, there are no (I think a word is missing from Goodreads' page for this book. :/ )

So those are my most anticipated 2017 debuts coming out. I'd love to know your choices in the comments below. 


Follow me on:


Thanks for reading! :) ♥

Monday, January 2, 2017

'THIS IS ME' by C.E. Wilson REVIEW (Spoiler Version)

Note: This review was supposed to be posted back in October, but it took me longer to finish than that. With that said, I still hope you enjoy this review. I had fun writing it and getting some steam out!! 


23109806

Synopsis


A-SIST
Anthropomorphic Sentient Individualized Servile uniT

Rogan is a robot. More specifically, he is an Asist – a personalized humanoid servant that provides protection, assistance, and companionship for a lonely young woman living on her own in the city. Chloe is trying to get her big break, singing at bars and clubs all over the city at night while she pays the bills as a substitute teacher during the day. Ever since she activated him many months ago, Rogan has been her beautiful, dependable, obedient, dead-eyed security blanket.

One morning she is shocked when he disobeys a direct command in an attempt to please her and his dull artificial eyes flash a hint of something new. Is this the result of the adaptive Asist servility programming or is Rogan actually thinking? Can a robot think? Can a robot feel?

As Chloe struggles with these thoughts she is blindsided by the singular Niven Adams, a handsome, confident man with the voice of an angel who is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for her, except for one problem. Niven doesn’t approve of Asists and takes an immediate dislike to Rogan. As Niven charms his way deeper and deeper into Chloe’s heart, Rogan tries to convince her that he is more than a mass-produced disposable servant.

With Rogan doing everything in his power to prove that his thoughts and feelings are real and Niven trying to persuade her to abandon her robot and have a normal human relationship, Chloe is trapped between the two things that mean the most to her. Does she embrace her relationship with the blond newcomer, or face that her Asist’s feelings may be more than features of his programming? 

What really makes a person a person?
Is it a ticking muscle inside their chest, or is it something more? 


Review

The Bad: Normally I would begin with thee good parts of the novel first, but seeing as how I gave this two out of five stars, I should get some things off of my chest. First of all, while I did not hate this book, I had a very hard time getting into it. 

The main characters, Chloe, is an African-American (or at least I assume she is) substitute teacher at a high school, who had gotten Rogan, an A-SIST, as a gift from her parents. Rogan is introduced as a combination of a guide, protector, friend, roommate, friend with benefits, and all the more without claiming him as a boyfriend. And I began to feel badly for Chloe because I could tell that she wanted to live her life with her Companion, but the outside world made it so hard to support her. However, herself as a character wasn't very bright either. Most of the time, she spent her time deciding which guy to go for --- a normal human like Niven, or an interesting, funny, intelligent, brave, and honest ASIST like Rogan. 

Even when she was at school working with her teacher friends Monica and Fitz, Monica was completely against the idea of ASISTs becoming more than just computers and machines forced to be servants. I actually became so annoyed by her character; even when the others had good reasons about ASISTs, Monica always had to have a snappy comeback. 

But throughout the book, I realized why Monica had a huge problem with ASISTs; her father left her mother for a female ASIST, tearing the family apart and breaking her trust in them completely. I can understand that; I felt a bit of sympathy towards her and her feelings of a broken family. However, Monica's character as a whole fell into the typical Latina I've read in most books --- fiery, fiesty, always about having a good time and partying all the time. She didn't give me anything more to get into her character and remember her. 

Going back to Niven, I couldn't stand his character at all. He treats ASISTs like that are computers and slaves, never occured to him that they could be more than that. Thant they could have "hearts", feelings, emotions, and some humanistic abilities. When he finally gets with Chloe as his girlfriend, he sinks even lower as a human being by setting his friends up to violently beat Rogan down in a bathroom, leaving him for death. Thankfully, Rogan was able to be revived, but I hated how Niven's hatred for ASISTs resulted in actually hurting them. Even though he didn't hurt Rogan himself, the fact that he made his friends do it shows what a disgusting character he is. However, I shouldn't have been surprised because the synopsis hints that he's a bit of an asshole (actually really an asshole). It gets even worse when Chloe invites him over for Thanksgiving, only to find out that when he was in high school, he and his friends did the exact same thing to a few other innocent ASISTs. Man, the Asist-Racism is real... (that's what they call people like Niven in the book.)

Also, I was disappointed that I didn't know the world outside of the Niven-Chloe-Rogan love/pain-fest. How did ASISTs get on Earth? Were they made or created by special forces, like the government or the Army? How did this world come up with the idea to make them for so many people? And if Rogan is one of some who can actually feel human emotions, what does that do for the rest of society? There is mention of a Help Center, where ASISTs go for assistance in the case they get hurt or need an upgrade on new software. But other than that, I didn't catch any other hint as to how these robots were built. It would have been fortunate to know more about the science of them.

I also couldn't figure out what time period this book was set in. Also in terms of world-building, we don't know what year this is made in. It's not exactly dystopian but it makes references to Mary J. Blige and other contemporary artists of today. 

The Good: While this book's pacing was hard to get into, I enjoyed Wilson's writing for what it was. She was very descriptive on the characters' emotions. 

Furthermore, I loved the relationship between Fitz and his ASIST-Mini, Bree. Bree reminded me of Iko from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. They're both very small for their size, but their huge personalities make up for it. Bree is so sweet and charming, and she doesn't take any shit from nobody!! Especially from those who hurt her friends. Fitz wasn't a bad guy either. He was very charismatic and delightful; he also loved Bree dearly and did anything he could to protect her. I'd wanted to see more backstory between the two of them rather than Rogan, Chloe and Niven.

What was also interesting was, the more I began to dislike Niven and Monica, the more I'd thought about the possibility of them getting together. Think about it: they both lost people they loved to ASISTs; they both hate the robots and are disgusted with them cohabiting with them; and they both think their looks will get them far. They're actually perfect for each other!

Improvements for Future Books: What Wilson could improve on for her next book is to focus more on the world outside of the relationships. This book is heavily based on sci-fi and fantasy, and yet I still feel like I know next to nothing about the its universe. If she chooses to write a sequel or spin-off based on This is Me., it might be a lot better to focus on the world rather than the characters.

Final Thoughts: Again, while I did not completely hate this book, I don't think there were enough good points to overshadow the frustrating and overbearing ones. I wish Wilson all the best in her future endeavors.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Have you read 'This is Me.'? Let me know in the comments below. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...