Posted in Bloggers, Book Chat, Sophie

January Wrap-Up

Hello guys! As the start of a new month draws nearer with every hour, I am here to discuss the books I’ve read in the first month of the year. So if you read my previous post about my bookish goals for the year, you know that I want to read a total of 100 books in the year. Averaging that out, I have to read 8.333 books a month. A hefty goal that one is, and I have started off very well.

This month I read a total of 10 books, two of which being over 500 pages. I can’t believe I managed this one. I also did achieve my other goal of reading one classic a month. For January, I read Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. I did read this with my Lit class, and I don’t care if you don’t think it counts, they’re my rules so I’m making it count. (Lol, I still love you guys, I hope you enjoy my posts!!) I did not post a review for this one, and I still haven’t decided if I want to write up reviews for them yet. That will be later determined at a later date.

Here’s a list of the books I’ve managed to read this month:

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  3. You Were Here by Cori McCarthy
  4. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  6. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
  7. First and Then by Emma Mills
  8. Velvet Undercover by Terri Brown
  9. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  10. Firstlife by Gena Showalter

I’ve included links for all of the reviews I have completed so far. Only three left to go! I will write them up and have them live as soon as possible. Thanks for subscribing or even checking this blog out this first month!

I am also happy to announce that I am now a reader for Source Books publishing. Look for reviews on their up coming YA releases. I’m so excited to share them with you!

Happy reading!

Sophie

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Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

I Spy

Hi, there! Hope you’re having a good day today 🙂  For this post, I’ll be reviewing Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown. This interested me because I have a bit of a weakness for historical fiction and sassy, strong females. When they’re put together, they’re just irresistible!

Here’s a bit about the book:

Samantha’s world is at war, the Great War to be exact. Her family has always served the crown, and have done well. Her father is an ambassador as well as an agent for M16. Women in her family have been ladies-in-waiting to the queen. It’s in Sam’s blood to serve, so when her father disappears on a trip to conduct foreign affairs and she’s offered a position to serve her country Sam jumps at the opportunity.

The mysterious La Dame Blanche, an elite women’s spy group, has recruited Sam to go into the thick of the fight – Berlin. Not only is she to go snoop in the German court, she’s to suss out an agent who is in possible danger. The problem is that no one knows the girl’s true identity, she’s only known as Velvet.

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I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, and I loved the different elements that Brown included. At the beginning of each chapter there was a different spy term to learn and it related to the events within the chapter.

I loved that Sam was so adept with languages. I feel like I related to her really well through this because I myself am pretty good at it too. She knew a little bit of everything and that was pretty cool.

Another cool aspect was her smarts and her reliance on them. I always enjoy when a girl is so self-reliant. It was cool learning a few ciphers and the way she thought was super cool. Sam is pretty good at math, specifically coding, and it’s something I learned a little about in my precalc class. I wish I had her talent for something so useful!

What was cool about this was the historical setting. Not many people re-imagine World War I, and it was cool to learn a little more about the German court and stuff like that. I think it’d be pretty cool to be a spy, but I’m not sure I’d be great for the job (I’m much better at reading about it).

I hope this review helped! Happy reading 🙂

Sophie

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A Little Jane to Live By

Hello there! My most recently finished book is First and Then by Emma Mills. I was first drawn to this book because it was the September book of Uppercase box (which I promptly subscribed to, thank you very much). I was a bit miffed that I didn’t get it in time, but no fear, I received it for Christmas. I was then intrigued because of the gorgeous cover art (I mean, just look at the beauty!). Under the dust jacket it’s even more beautiful.

So for a little bit about the actual book:

If anyone would like to learn about procrastination and how to avoid the future, you should just contact Devon. Dev is quite content with her average status – she knows she’s not going to be the one to discover the cure for cancer or join the Peace Corps. Senior holds a bit more action than what she bargained for though.

For one thing, it brings her quirky cousin Foster who can’t seem to understand how to socialize like a normal person. To make matters worse she has to endure freshman gym that she has successfully avoided up to this point. Of course she has this with Foster. Then the irritating(ly hot) star linebacker Ezra Lynley decides he wants to bug her during class, too. What’s a girl to do?

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This story was a very cute read. It was short and sweet, but funny, too. I enjoyed it as a little fluff one in between heavier reads.

What I like most about this was Devon’s independence. She didn’t need a boy to begin with, and even though she was pining for her best friend, she didn’t let it get in the way of her normal life. She’s strong on her own and it doesn’t bother her that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. Also her obsession with Jane Austen is something I totally get. I love Jane. 🙂

I was confused how much free time Devon had. I personally don’t have that much, and she seems to be able to do anything on a whim. I wish I had a more relaxed schedule!

Devon’s relationship with her cousin Foster is something that I recognize in myself. Foster reminds me of someone I know and his relationship with Devon is really similar to that of mine with that person who shall remain unidentified. I loved seeing their awkwardness evolve into something that they believed was worth fighting for.

Ezra was a little irksome. I didn’t like him as much as I feel like I should have. Oh well. Can’t win ’em all.

Okay, that’s all for now! Happy reading!

Sophie

Posted in Bloggers, Book Chat, Reviews, Sophie

Bookish Box Review: Uppercase Box January

Hi, there! I love doing these reviews on my monthly subscription box – Uppercase Box. It’s truly my favorite, and one of the best out there. If you’d like more details on the logistics and pricing on the box, click the link to my first Uppercase Box review or the one to the website.

In January’s box, there was:

  • a signed copy of Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  • a coloring book inspired by children’s lit
  • a map to go with the book
  • socks that say Sup Nerd

I was super impressed – as always. I have yet to be disappointed by the amazing choices made by Lisa (exec of Uppercase). I absolutely love the nerdy socks! They’re really soft and fit really well. (I have super small feet.) The reading experience was new, and instead of page tabs it’s now a book mark. I like the new creative twist for that because even though I wasn’t bothered by the tabs it’s super cool to have a new book mark. It’s also easy to keep track of them without impeding on the page.

I was surprised by the reading choice for the month. I didn’t even know this was going to be released, and after reading the flap I was super interested! I hope to get into it next month – my stack to read before March is so big! No worries though, I’ve managed 9 books this month, two of which being over 500 pages. Not a big deal, right?

The coloring book kind of threw me for a loop. I’m not much of a colorer, and when I do have free time I spend it reading or blogging. I will have to do this one though. The pictures are cute and well done. There are scenes from Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. I can’t wait to color it!

Okay, that’s all for now! I hope this review has helped you in any way. Let me know what you think in the comments below. 🙂

Happy reading!

Sophie

Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Only Three Things

Hi, all! I hope you’re having a wonderful day! Today I’m going to be reviewing Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. So Stone is not a debut author in 2015, but this is the first that I have read of her. This book got a lot of major props for its unique approach on mental illness in teens and how well it was presented/written. I was excited to read this because of all the hype it got on Instagram, so I couldn’t wait to see if it was worth it.

A brief tidbit about the book:

Sam suffers from purely obsessional OCD. She can’t turn off her thoughts and is being constantly bombarded. No one outside of her family knows. No one knows about her panic attacks. About her anxiety. About Sue, her shrink. About threat of a thought that could debilitate her. Sam works hard to keep her perfect facade in tact, fearing her friends would kick her out of the squad she’s been a part of since kindergarten.

It seems things will boil over Sam’s junior year – until she meets Caroline and the Poets. She discovers an underground poet club and finds herself armed with the words that were her enemy. With the Poets, Sam begins to explore a side of her that she didn’t even know existed.

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Wow, this piece definitely deserved all the rave it got. I found that Samantha’s situation, though unique, was something that I felt was important in my own life.

Throughout the novel, Sam deals with a catty group of friends and it reminds me a lot of the girl I used to be in middle school and earlier. I remember the times I was bullied and when I turned the tables. Her experiences are something that makes her real to me. I knew exactly what she meant about her situation with AJ (how she bullied him in grade school) and really connected with her as she tried to reconcile.

Sam’s identity crisis is something everyone goes through if not once then multiple times. I know every year I have become a little more different, and I hope I am closer to becoming the person I want to be. Sam does the same thing and her rising confidence is something that inspires me.

Mental illness is something that touches everyone whether it be directly or indirectly. I myself don’t suffer from anything, but I do have a few close people in my life that do, and Sam’s story helps me understand, even if a little, what they go through every day. It’s something that is a constant battle, and some days are good and some days are bad. I think it is somewhat similar for everyone. You get both good and bad days. What matters is what you do with them.

Poetry is not something I personally enjoy writing. I don’t mind reading it, but I don’t seek it out. After reading Sam’s journey and healing with words it reminded me of how much I used to write. I used to creatively write much more than I do now (which is not at all) and I wish I could get back into it. I hope one day to find my voice again, and I know that Sam is someone who inspires me to do so.

So on that note I will leave you. Happy reading!

Sophie

Posted in Bloggers, Book Chat, Bookish News, Sophie

Bookish News: Book Birthdays!

Hello! If you like keeping up with release dates, I will do my best to help you with reminders, especially with big ones!

Today’s new releases are:

The Siren by Kiera Cass

This is a massive one for many people. I myself have not had the joy yet to know the writing of Kiera Cass, but I am definitely planning to acquaint myself with her in the future! For more information about this book click here. It will also give you many options for purchasing this beauty if you haven’t already!

Front Lines by Michael Grant

Front Lines

I’m a sucker for (alternate) historical fiction. After reading Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin I couldn’t wait for something similar to come out! This one is written as if women were enlisted and put on the front lines during World War II. For more info on this one click here.

The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry

This is the book for our February book club! We would love if you joined us reading it next month! I love the cover, and it’s supposed to be a little like The Time Traveler’s Wife. I can’t wait to see what it has in store! For more information on this book click here.

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

The Dark Days Club - Alison Goodman - January 26, 2016:

I’ve heard a lot of buzz surrounding this book. It sounds super good. This one is set in Victorian England and centers around a girl who discovers an undercover society. She’s a high society lady who’s daring to take risks – something I personally love. (Women kicking booty is awesome.) For more info on this one here is a link.

Alright, I hope that satiates your curiosity for now! What are your anticipated reads/releases for next month?

Happy reading!

Sophie

Posted in Bloggers, Book Club, Reviews, Sophie

Sneaking In

Hi, guys! I am trying to catch up on all my reviews – I read so fast it’s hard to keep up with them all in addition to trying to come up with some posts that aren’t just reviews! So this month for Book Bloggers Unite! book club we read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This was released in September of 2015 and has been raved about since. We decided it was definitely one we wanted to read and discuss for this one. After Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List  we were excited to get into something so thrilling.

So here’s what the book is about:

Kaz Brekker is probably one of the youngest, most successful gang members in Ketterdam. The streets of the bustling port/island is one of intrigue, business, and secrets. It is eat or be eaten. Gangs rule the streets and are in constant battle for territory.

Known for his skills in breaking into impenetrable places, Kaz is approached by a wealthy merchant. He is asked to bust out a chemist developing a lethal drug from the largest and well-kept bastion known to the area – the Ice Court. It’s a job Kaz can’t turn down, and he knows that he can’t accomplish it on his own. With a carefully selected group Kaz has his sights set to the Ice Court and works to break down its icy walls.

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What a thrilling book! I couldn’t put it down once I got into it. At first I was a bit confused because of the world it’s set in. That took a bit to get used to, but overall it was so cool seeing how elaborate the whole world was constructed. Props to Bardugo for having such an intricate and beautiful world!

The first couple of chapters were hard to get through. Like I said about the world, it was a bit hard to adjust to. I think if I had read her first series, it would have made a little more sense. The Grisha world was super cool and something I look forward to getting to know better. I am definitely putting that on the overflowing TBR list.

Once I got into the groove of the book I really enjoyed getting to know the characters. I think that my favorite ones were Matthias and Inej. Kaz was really interesting too. I like that it was told from multiple different perspectives because it gave you a taste of all the sides of the story than just one perspective. It was fun to follow all of their personal feelings and motives.

The story was definitely exhilarating. There are so many twists and turns in the plot that I couldn’t wait to see what happened. The ending was such a surprise! I can’t wait to get my hands on Crooked Kingdom once that’s released! I am so excited to see what comes next (that cliffhanger was cruel).

Happy reading!

Sophie

Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

In Memory of…

Hello! I hope you all are enjoying the wintery weather we’re finally receiving (here in the U.S. anyway, I’m jealous of the warmer places!). I have recently finished a wonderful Advance Reader Copy from Source Books that I received from my work (job perks are the best!). So the book is called You Were Here and it’s by Cori McCarthy, an author I was overjoyed to find out lived nearby! I am hopefully going to visit her on her tour in March (dates and locations to be released).

Here’s a description:

Jaycee is a daredevil. Well, not quite, her brother was the daredevil, but then one of his stunts goes horribly awry and he dies. Jaycee is going to do something Jake never did – survive graduation. Still struggling with his death years later, Jaycee sets out to accomplish all of his stunts.

What she doesn’t expect is help with her quest. It comes in the form of four people connected to her, and Jake, in ways she couldn’t have imagined. The dysfunctional group works their way through Jake’s tricks all the while coping with the loss and the whirlwind of life after graduation.

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I am so in love with this book! I can’t wait for you all to read it, too! The set release date is March 1 and you can pre-order a signed copy through her website.

The book is told in five different perspectives and I think each one suits the character the best way possible. Some of it is told in comic book frames and some of it in narrative. Don’t let the comic book scenes daunt you because they just add to the work as a whole. You will understand exactly why that character is specifically is only in images.

Something I enjoyed most about the book is how relatable the characters are. Jaycee is sassy and witty and uses it to combat the overwhelming grief she still has for Jake. Natalie and her intense planning and Type A personality is something I personally understand; it’s like McCarthy wrote her for me (!!). (She didn’t, but I’m going to pretend she did.) I like how strong both of the female characters are and that they don’t have to go running to the guys in the group to help themselves. The boys definitely help them reconcile, but the work is all done by them. It’s refreshing to see so many new female characters kick some booty. Don’t be deterred by Jaycee’s blunt honesty. I think she was my favorite.

There is a big reveal near the end and it definitely didn’t catch me off guard, but it’s something not completely obvious. I knew because McCarthy hints at it, and it still stunned me when I got to it. I promise it just enhances the story and makes you love the characters even more.

So I received a copy before the cover was decided so I got a pretty blue cover. Here is the actual cover art for the story.

100515_a

I think this is such a wonderful representation of the contents. It’s quite gorgeous don’t you think? I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. I definitely will re-read this in the near future.

Happy reading!

Sophie

Posted in Bloggers, Book Chat, Sophie

2016 Reading Challenge

Hello, guys!

I hope your January has gone well so far. I have just completed my first semester and start the second on Monday. I can’t believe half the school year is almost over!

If you didn’t know, I’m part of the Goodreads community and I love it. Every year since I’ve joined I did the book challenge. Last year my reading goal was 50 books. I exceeded that by 14, and I have to say I’m pretty proud of that.

This year I decided I would read 100 books! So far I’ve read 6 in this present month, and I still have 2 weeks of January left. I am trying as much as I can to document these books through our Instagram, Twitter, and this blog with reviews. You can also keep up with my current reads on the widget on this page or friend request me on Goodreads.

My lovely friends from abroad Emma from The Book Crunch and Beth from The Books are Everywhere also started a book club! This month was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which was amazing (review posted later)!! If you would like to join us, our Goodreads group is called Book Bloggers Unite! and the link to that is here. You don’t have to be a blogger to join and we would love to have you next month, or even this month if  you’d like!

I’m looking to an amazing year filled with books and I hope you are too. I hope you find one (or many) that makes your heart sing, I know I will. 🙂

Happy reading!

Sophie

 

Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Rise, Red as the Dawn

Hello! I read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard in anticipation of her release of Glass Sword in February. I had heard a bunch of hype about this book over on the Instagram, and let me say, it’s well deserved. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next and it was so exciting!

Overview:

Mare Barrow lives in a world divided by blood – Red and Silver. Silvers hold special abilities – control of fire, metal, even the mind. They rule over the working class of Reds. Reds are conscripted for a war that no one really knows why it began. Those who have talents are used as apprentices and serve the Silvers. They are fortunate enough to avoid the barracks. Mare knows what her future holds for her. Without apprenticeship she’ll go to war, hopefully she’ll survive. She’ll come home and take care of her parents. Get married.

Everything changes when her best friend finds out he’ll be conscripted. She’s willing to risk everything for him and takes a chance. Mare soon finds herself swept up into the Silver court of the royal family. Here she discovers a talent of her own and to cover it up the royals force her into a fake identity – a lost Silver princess. She’s then betrothed to a prince and woven into the many secrets and a web of families waiting for her to crack.

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I was super impressed by this novel! I loved Mare’s strength and her sass. I did find her a bit irritating at times (oh the love), but I have to say it didn’t matter much in the end. I am very glad that I read this and I have high hopes (along with many other people) for the sequel!

The whole concept of the novel was interesting. It seemed very modern and real world. I can picture something like this in the event a segregated area went to war. I think it dealt with the themes of prejudice and even racism very well. Even though the people weren’t divided by race it was clear that there were those who were better because of the abilities they had.

The princes were interesting characters. I had a gut feeling about Maven, but they both were very hard to read. I thought that Kilorn (Mare’s best friend) was pretty awesome, too. I think he accepted things a bit too easily, though. I wish Mare hadn’t been so naive about somethings in the story, but I definitely understand why she was. If I had two princes and and my childhood best friend in love with me I wouldn’t know what to do either! 🙂

Please take a moment to admire this awesome cover. It won Cover Lust in Epic Reads’ Book Shimmy Awards.

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

Okay I think this enough for now! Happy reading!

Sophie