Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Once and for All - Sarah Dessen
June 6th
Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) - Victoria Schwab
June 13th

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) - Sarah J. Maas
September 5th
They Both Die at the End - Adam Silvera
September 5th

There's Someone Inside Your House - Stephanie Perkins
September 26th
The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3) - Rick Riordan
October 3rd

What books are you excited for in the second half of 2017?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: The Book of Summer

Title: The Book of Summer
Author: Michelle Gable
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Published: May 9th 2017
How I got this book: I got this as an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Physician Bess Codman has returned to her family's Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. Her great-grandparents built Cliff House almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea.Though she's purposefully avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave.

The Book of Summer unravels the power and secrets of Cliff house as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home's definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess's grandmother always said it was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother's words in ways she never contemplated.

My thoughts:
This is the second book from Gable that I've read, and I really enjoyed this one as well, perhaps a bit more than I'll See You In Paris (review here).

We follow to perspectives in this book, Bess and Ruby, who are granddaughter and grandmother. Bess' narrative follows her and her journey in Nantucket in 2013, and Ruby's story follows her at the same place in 1940's, during World War II. We also meet Bess' mother during the book, and we learn that this is a really interesting family, with different problems. Cliff House is what matter's most to the family, having been around for almost 100 years, and it has a lot of family history.

Reading about the relationships between the different members of the family was really heartwarming. They don't always get along, but it is clear that they all love each other dearly. The characters are different, and no one is perfect, which makes me connect with them even more. Because of the dual perspective we learn more about both Bess and Ruby as the book goes on, and we see some similarities in their stories. They both endure hard times, and go through some of the same experiences. 

After I finished this book I read that Gable has used real events in this book, with how the bluff in Sconset is disappearing, and even having the weather as accurately as possible.

The ending of this book is unsurprising, but it is sweet and nice, so I didn't really mind. There are mysteries that are unraveled towards the end, but nothing out of the blue. This book is perfect for summer, and reading on the beach. It gives you a warm feeling inside, makes you happy and is easy to get into, perfect for the beach.

Buy this book?
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Monday, May 15, 2017

Review: All Our Wrong Todays

Title: All Our Wrong Todays
Author: Elan Mastai
Publisher: Dutton
Year published: 2017
How I got this book: I got this as an e-arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
My rating: 3 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed ... because it wasn't necessary.

Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life, but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and -maybe, just maybe - his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom's search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future - our future - is supposed to be.

My thoughts:
I went into this book wanting to like it, I really did, but I just couldn't. Something didn't feel right to me, and it just irked me the wrong way. With that said, if you have read it and enjoyed it, I'm happy for you. People enjoy different things, and this review is just how I feel about it. This does not mean that any other opinions are wrong, they are just different, and I respect them. 

I have to start with Tom, our main character. He is obnoxious, arrogant and incredibly self-centered. Yes, he is the narrator of this book, but I haven't disliked a main character this much in a long, long time. Several times throughout this book I just wanted to slap him, and yell at him to get himself together and stop acting the way he did. But I couldn't do that, because, obviously, he is just a character in a fictional book. 

All Our Wrong Todays is written as a memoir, from Tom himself. This is clear throughout the book, and I did enjoy that it didn't have the normal narrative style. However, this also made me dislike Tom a lot, maybe more than if it had been written like a novel. One of my biggest problems with Tom is his obsession with Penny/Penelope, depending on which reality we're talking about. He is so infatuated with her, that he literally goes back in time to make sure she doesn't die. However, in doing that, he erases his entire timeline, and ends up in "our" 2016. You would think that would be the end of it, but no. He somehow finds Penny in the other reality, convinced that they're supposed to be together. Never mind the fact that she has now idea who he is, or that time-travel is possible. He is so obsessed with her, and I just couldn't take it. It really irritated be throughout the story. 

The author included a lot of science in this book, which some probably finds really interesting. I wish I did, but it made me lose focus, and I ended up skimming about half the book. I didn't really care for all the science-talk, it only distracted me. And even so, not all of the science made sense. Or even all of the plot, some things were really confusing, and made it hard to follow the story. 

To me, it seems like Elan Mastai had a great idea, but he was, unfortunately, not able to execute it that well. I appreciate the idea he had, and it is interesting, but the book didn't do it for me. The 2016 Tom comes from seems great, and I really wish we could have seen more of that, because that really intrigued me with this story.

Though I am sorry to say that I will not be recommending this to any of my friends, I have to say that this book isn't terrible. If you like time-travel, science, or this book just seems interesting, I think you should give it a go, and hopefully, you'll enjoy it more than I did. 

Buy this book?
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Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin Review and Discussion [VIDEO]


I had so many thoughts and feelings after reading A Court of Wings and Ruin, that I knew I couldn't just sit down and write a review. I wouldn't have been able to describe my feeling as accurately as in a video, so I decided to make one. I am quite new with making videos, so I apologize for that in advance.

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review: Waking Gods

*This is the second book in a series, you can find my review for the first book, Sleeping Giants, here*

Title: Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Publisher: Del Rey
Year published: 2017
How I got this book: The author sent me a free e-book, because of my interest in the first one
My rating: 4,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she's dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why as a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers - and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth ... and maybe even the stars.

My thoughts:
This is the sequel to Sleeping Giants, and because of that, it will contain spoilers for that book. It will not, however, contain spoilers for this book. I just want to say that I am really glad I read this book. The plot picks up 9 years after the last book ended, and during those years not much has happened, mostly just scientists researching Themis. However, this book starts with a new robot showing up in London, and no one knows how it got there, or what it means. 

Neuvel continues to use the same narration style in this book, and it works just as well as last time. I greatly enjoy this style of narration, as we get are able to look into the mind of different characters, and the pacing is quite fast, as there isn't room for a lot of description. My only concern with this kind of narration is that it is a lot of telling, instead of showing, but I think Neuvel handles that great, and he is able to keep me interested and focused throughout the story. 

In Sleeping Giants we follow Dr. Franklin and her team looking for the rest of Themis, but in Waking Gods the focus has shifted. They already have Themis, and are trying to figure out everything she can do. At the same time, Earth is invaded by another Robot, and everyone is trying to learn as much as possible about that. Because of this invasion, it gives of a apocalyptic vibe, which I enjoyed a lot. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and it was so full of suspense that I didn't want to put it down. I never knew what to expect from the next chapter, or the next page, and that is what I want from a book.

We follow the same cast of beloved characters from the previous book, which made me happy, as I connected with them in Sleeping Giants. There are some new ones, that's to be expected, but the main characters we already know. I started caring even more for the characters during this story, and some of the things a few of them had to go through, really made me emotional. 

Waking Gods really has everything a great book needs. An exciting and captivating plot, great narration, good writing, and loveable characters. I have recommended Sleeping Giants to several of my friends, and after this book, I will push them even harder to read both of these books. The author, Neuvel, has said that there will be at least three books in this series, and I am really looking forward to the next one. I want to know how the story will go from here, and if you've already read this book as well, I'm guessing you are wondering as well.

Buy this book?
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Amazon (UK)
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Monday, May 8, 2017

View From Page Thirty: Girl with a Pearl Earring

Book: Girl with a Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Genre: Historical Fiction

Goodreads synopsis:
With precisely 35 canvases to his credit, the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer represents one of the great enigmas of the 17th-century art. The meager facts of his biography have been gleaned from a handful of legal documents. Yet Vermeer's extraordinary paintings of domestic life, with their subtle play of light and texture, have come to define the Dutch golden age.

His portrait of the anonymous Girl with a Pearl Earring has exerted a particular fascination for centuries - and it is this magnetic painting that lies at the heart of Tracy Chevalier's second novel of the same title. 

Girl with a Pearl Earring centers on Vermeer's prosperous Delft household during the 1660s. When Griet, the novel's quietly perceptive heroine, is hired as a servant, turmoil follows. First, the 16-year-old narrator becomes increasingly intimate with her master. Then Vermeer employs her as his assistant - and ultimately has Griet sit for him as a model.

My view from page thirty:
I jumped into this novel completely blind, not even having read the synopsis of the book. Even though I'm only 30 pages into the book, I am enjoying it so fat. I don't really know what to expect, or what will happen, but I am still excited. 

I am curious as to how Griet will adapt to the Vermeer's household. She seems like a great character so far, and I really hope I'll connect with her and grow to care for her as the book continues. 

There's not much more to say really, as there hasn't really happened that much yet, but it hasn't been boring either.