Book Chat: February Wrap-Up

Can you believe it’s already March tomorrow? I feel like the year has just begun, not like it’s already going to be the third one. It’s crazy how fast time flies — I’ll be finishing the last half of my second semester so soon. I think once I get back from spring break it’ll be really quick from there.

I read a lot this month. Like so much. I can’t believe I had so much time to finish these books. To be honest, a lot of what got me staying on track were my audiobooks. I love listening to these as I walk to class or to practice.  I use Overdrive through my library, so I save money, too, which is always a plus being a broke college student and all.

Here’s a summary of what I read:

  1. Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay
  2. Rookie on Love ed. by Tavi Gevinson
  3. American Panda by Gloria Chao
  4. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
  5. Flight Season by Marie Marquardt
  6. Fireworks by Katie Cotugno
  7. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
  8. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
  9. Hope Nation ed. by Rose Brock
  10. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  11. Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

I’ve been quite busy with all of the school things going on, too. I promise that in between all of these books I’ve been doing my homework! I wish I had more time to read, I really do.

What am I currently reading?

  1. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
  2. Where I’m From by Brenda Rufner
  3. Three Sides of a Heart ed by Natalie C. Parker
  4. The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

Yeah, I know it’s a little excessive. I’ve hit a bit of a wall with TSOAH, but I’m waiting for the audiobook to finally finish this one. I think it’ll finally push me to finish that one. I’m really making slow progress through The Belles but when I do pick it up, I love the writing! The Final Six is slated to release next Tuesday, and I’m really into the prose so far. Hopefully there will be a review for you this coming Sunday of that!

Alright, that’s all for now folks, see you soon!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

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Posted in Blog Tours, Bloggers, Sophie

Blog Tour: Hope Nation ed. by Rose Brock

Hi guys! I’m so excited to share this anthology with you today! This is full of some amazing writers, and there are some great stories.

About the Book

Title: Hope Nation

Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: ed. by Dr. Rose Brock; Atia Abawi, Renee Ahdieh, Libba Bray, Howard Bryant, Ally Carter, Ally Condie, James Dashner, Christina Diaz Gonzales, Gayle Forman, Romina Garber, I. W. Gregario, Kate Hart, Bendan Kiely, David Levithan, Alex London, Marie Lu, Julie Murphy, Jason Reynolds, Aisha Saeed, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Jeff Zentner, and Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Philomel Books

Expected Release: February 27, 2018

My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars

Hope is a decision, but it is a hard one to recognize in the face of oppression, belittlement, alienation, and defeat. To help embolden hope, here is a powerhouse collection of essays and personal stories that speak directly to teens and all YA readers. Featuring Angie Thomas, Marie Lu, James Dashner, Nicola Yoon, David Levithan, Libba Bray, Jason Reynolds, Renée Ahdieh, and many more!

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”–Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We all experience moments when we struggle to understand the state of the world, when we feel powerless and–in some cases–even hopeless. The teens of today are the caretakers of tomorrow, and yet it’s difficult for many to find joy or comfort in such a turbulent society. But in trying times, words are power.

Some of today’s most influential young adult authors come together in this highly personal nonfiction collection of original essays, poems, and letters, each a first-hand account that ultimately strives to inspire hope.

Like a modern day Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul or Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for TeensHope Nation acknowledges the pain and shines a light on what comes after.

About the Author

Dr. Rose Brock is a twenty-year veteran professor who has dedicated her career to turning teens into book lovers. Building relationships with readers through books is her superpower. In addition to her career as a librarian and educator, Dr. Brock is also very involved in helping to organize the North Texas Teen Book Festival, a one-day event, which hosts sixty authors and has an impressive annual attendance of over 3,500 teens and tweens. She also serves as a team leader of the International Literacy Association’s Young Adults’ Choices project, which empowers teens to read and select the best books of the year. Dr. Brock was named by the Texas Library Association as the recipient of the Siddie Joe Johnson Award, an award given by the Children’s Round Table to a librarian who demonstrates outstanding library service to children

Review

I had a hard time getting into this book at first, but once I decided I would skip around to read essays by authors I truly enjoy reading, that’s when I felt like I could get behind this book. After I warmed up to those authors, I was able to go back to the essays that weren’t doing it for me initially. I did end up skipping the essay by James Dashner altogether because I can’t bring myself to read his writing after everything coming forward.

One thing I really liked about this anthology was all of the different takes on hope and what hope looked for them all. Marie Lu’s piece on growing up in 1980s China was captivating, and I feel that I learned so much more about her in that one story than I could have known ever.

I also loved Nicola Yoon’s essay about her relationship with her husband. It was beautiful to read about why she loved him so much and how she wouldn’t give up anything for him. It reminded me that love is worth fighting for.

I definitely recommend this to people looking for a hopeful outlook in these bleak times. It’ll give you a few shots of hope inoculation (thanks, Gayle Forman).

Follow the Tour

WEEK ONE
2/19 – Snowandbooks – Review
2/20 – Riddle’s Reviews – Excerpt
2/21 – Two Points of Interest – Review
2/22 – SaniyaWalu – Review
2/23 – Mind of a Book Dragon – Review
 
WEEK TWO
2/26 – Bookishness and Tea – Review
2/27 – Candid Ceillie – Author Interview with Dr. Rose
2/28 – Novel Ink – Review
3/1 – Paper Cups and Paperbacks – Review
3/2 – Bookstorm Reads – Review
 
WEEK THREE
3/5 – Bibliotrix.lestrange – Review
3/6 – AEB Book Reviews – Review
3/7 – A Thousand Books to Read – Review + Instagram Post
3/8 – The Petite Book Blogger – Author Interview with Ally Condie and Dr. Rose
3/9 – As the Book Ends – Review + Instagram Feature
Thanks for hanging out on the blog today! Make sure you follow along the tour to hear from so many other awesome book lovers.
Happy reading,
Sophie 🙂

Review: Meet Cute ed. by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hi guys! I’m going to try to keep up with my reviews this year. I missed reviewing a lot of the books that I read, and maybe one day I will catch up on them. Today is not that day, though. I’m already behind on my reviews for the year, but no fear! I am working on them when I can. Today I’ll be starting with my first read of the year — Meet Cute, an anthology of first meetings edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Title: Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Various, edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publisher: HMH Teen

Release date: January 2, 2018

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

****************

This was the perfect way to start off 2018! I know 2017 was a rough year for many people, myself included, so to help with the changes I let myself get sucked into many different love stories — one of my favorites to read. Here are some initial thoughts on Goodreads:

First read of the year! It was sweet and quite lovely to read each story. I love the anthology format because of the natural stopping points. Now my high expectations with romance make even more sense! 😉

It’s true that I have a few high expectations with love! I read so many perfect love stories that somehow come together in the end that I can’t help but want a little piece of it for myself, is that too much to ask for?! However, I do realize that these are fictional stories not bound by the conventions of the real world (fortunately anything can happen here).

One of my favorite stories by far was Nicola Yoon’s story about a Relationship Doctor and a Client. The main character is an expert in heartbreak and she works for the institution of love as a specialist in heartbreaks and detecting how they happen. You can imagine what comes next. I honestly want this one to become a full-length novel. It sounds like a beautiful world that could be built from this little beginning here. Think Love Charms and Other Catastrophes by Kimberly Karalius but a shorter story and written by the wonderful Nicola Yoon.

Another wonderful story in this book was Jennifer Armentrout’s! I love the idea of meeting my s/o in a bookish setting and the library hits the nail right on the head. I can’t get over how beautiful and perfect it all came together. It was pretty zazzy in my opinion 😉

This gave me the perfect feel good vibes that I wanted. The natural breaks between stories made it easy to read in spurts. I wish they were all longer — I want to know what happens to our heroes!!

Definitely pick this one up if you’re looking for a little romance or to renew your belief in that L-word.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Sneak Peek Sunday: Flight Season by Marie Marquardt

Happy Sunday! I can’t believe another week is over. I’m excited to be able to talk about this book today because it was quite lovely, and I devoured it in almost one day. Thank you so much to the publicist and publisher for providing me with a copy for review!

Title: Flight Season

Flight Season
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Marie Marquardt

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Expected release: February 20, 2018

My rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars

Back when they were still strangers, TJ Carvalho witnessed the only moment in Vivi Flannigan’s life when she lost control entirely. Now, TJ can’t seem to erase that moment from his mind, no matter how hard he tries. Vivi doesn’t remember any of it, but she’s determined to leave it far behind. And she will.

But when Vivi returns home from her first year away at college, her big plans and TJ’s ambition to become a nurse land them both on the heart ward of a university hospital, facing them with a long and painful summer together – three months of glorified babysitting for Ángel, the problem patient on the hall. Sure, Ángel may be suffering from a life-threatening heart infection, but that doesn’t make him any less of a pain.

As it turns out, though, Ángel Solís has a thing or two to teach them about all those big plans, and the incredible moments when love gets in their way.

*************

Once I picked up this book I could hardly put it down. I’m so glad I brought it along with me on my trip to Chicago last weekend! I rode the train which took so much longer than I thought and it was a perfect companion. I finished it the very next day because I was so tired on the ride back that I had to put it down for the last hour of the trip.

This is quite an exceptional book. Though I find the ending to be a bit far from what would actually happen, I can’t imagine this story without it.

As I read this book I loved the three characters more and more. I like how each chapter was styled to fit with each voice of the character it took on. Vivi’s chapters always started with an entry in her birding journal. It was so fun to learn more about birds and see how they related to her (and the book title). Birds are always used in literature as a contrast to humans, and I like the different way that it’s used in this book. I love how Vivi sees the world through and with birds in them. It’s something I didn’t think about before and I immediately wished that I could see each one of the birds she wrote about in her journal immediately.

Ángel was definitely a voice I wasn’t expecting. We don’t get to read his POV every third chapter like some books, and I found myself looking forward to each one that I did get to read. He had a unique perspective and his role in the book became more and more apparent as more of his story was revealed. I feel that Ángel gave depth to the book that couldn’t be achieved any other way.

TJ was a fun character to get to know too. His family reminded me a little bit of mine, but mine isn’t as conflicting as his. Except I would be more like his cousin’s family because mine is so big. His voice was well written and I enjoyed his dialogue and the way he changed over the course of the novel. Seeing him interact with Vivi and Ángel was my favorite part of the book.

This book deals with a lot of serious topics. Grief and death are strong themes throughout. The topic of immigration is also something that comes to play a big part in this book. It’s something that is handled and written about well. I feel that anything but writing it with the utmost care is something that could go awry quickly. Marquardt’s care with these are apparent and I respect that about her strength as a writer.

I did feel that the ending was a bit unrealistic. It was something that was of the ideal situation in the way that it happened, but I can’t quite go along with this one. I can’t imagine it any other way though. I’m glad it ended this way in the very end.

I hope you take the time to find this book this Tuesday! It’s a unique read that is well worth your time.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hi guys! I’m back with another installment of throwback Thursday reviews in which I review a book that I’ve read that was released more than 2 years ago.

I know this technically wasn’t over two years ago, but I feel this is slightly long enough that I can still post this review on my Throwback day. Ahh heck, this is my blog and I can do what I want with it 😛

Title: Ever the Hunted

Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms, #1)
Gooreads | Amazon

Author: Erin Summerill

Publisher: HMH Teen

Release date: December 27, 2016

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

**************

I decided to read this because I was a bit impatient with my current reads. It took a bit of time to get into, but I did enjoy it in the very end. I remember when I was finishing this book that I told my roommate that I wasn’t going to bed until it was done, and it was definitely worth staying up later.

OKAY SO LIKE THAT JUST HAPPENED?! OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD🙈 I am SO ready for the second book, and it was a good thing that I have it on me somewhere!!

I could not wait to read the second book, and I’m glad to have the second one right here. I haven’t gotten to it yet (too many other books I have to read at the moment), but I’m so excited to do so.

Britta was a fun character to get to know. For a bit I found her a little annoying, but after a while I found myself rooting for her as she travelled across Malam. She has verve and works hard for what she wants. Something that I quite enjoyed was discovering her inner strength with her. I wanted her to want to be more, I wanted her to come into herself. I think there’s more room for growing, but I liked the direction she was going in toward the end.

I wish I got to know the world it was set in a little more. I felt like I was looking for more details than what we got, but I did love that it included a map in the pages! Books with maps are a special kind of awesome. I feel like it gives you a much better sense of positioning in the entire book.

All in all this was a pretty good read. I recommend it to those who are looking to settle in for a good, long adventure.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

#tbt: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

Book Chat: Favorite Books About Love

Happy Valentine’s day everyone! I would say this is a bit of a Hallmark holiday with all of the extra things that go along with it. However, I don’t think it’s wrong to take a day to say a little something extra or special for those you love. Plus I will never say no to an opportunity to eat more chocolate! 😉 Buckle up and pull that blanket over your legs and cozy up with one of these great reads.

For the activist: Love, Hate, & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

Love, Hate, & Other Filters is an amazing book that tackles Islamophobia in an excellent and beautiful way. Maya is a lovely character that everyone should meet. In addition to the lovely plot line, there is a great element of ~*romance*~ involved 🙂

For the first love: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

This is a classic love story. I absolutely love Jenny Han’s work and this one is perfect for this time of the year! I am definitely in need of a re-read. Be sure to read Lara Jean’s love debacle as the letters to each of her past loves are mailed out.

For the hopeless romantic: Meet Cute ed. by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Goodreads | Amazon

What better than this *cute* anthology to get you through this day? I loved these little stories so much! Each piece was excellent and made me swoon every time. From people like Katie Cotugno to Nicola Yoon, you are sure to find a story you love. Be sure to check out my review of this next week!

For the paranormal lover: The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Goodreads | Amazon

A heartbreaking and beautiful novel, this will take you on a great journey. The writing is lyrical and full of great characters. Dee ‘s world is full of demons and when she sells her heart to make a deal with one she finds herself getting more than what she bargained for.

For lover: Rookie on Love ed. by Tavi Gevinson

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

This book is a wonderful collection of essays, short stories, comics, and other good pieces. The topics range from love for your dog to love for a book and you’re sure to find one you love.

For the retelling fan: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Goodreads| Amazon | Review

Take a ride on the Magic Pumpkin as Elle navigates her way through her summer determined to get to ExcelsiCon and win the cosplay contest. Add in a secret love a la A Cinderella Story and you’ve got an epic geek love on your hands.

 

Do you have a favorite romance novel? Tell me in the comments below!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hi guys! How are you all doing today? I love mysteries, so when I found out Maureen Johnson was writing another mystery I was extremely excited. I had the opportunity to read this thanks to her publicist reaching out to me for a review.

Title: Truly Devious

Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release date: January 16, 2018

My rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars

Author Maureen Johnson weaves a tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a new series.

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

*********************

This book reminded me a lot of something like A Study in Charlotte but with a completely different plot. The tone was similar and the setting was a bit similar, and I love it for some of the same reasons. Here’s what I thought initially:

I NEED THE SECOND BOOK IN MY HANDS NOW. OH MY GOODNESS🤤 What a fantastic mystery by an excellent author! Johnson is a *truly* fabulous author and I’m so glad to have read her latest!

Once I was close to the end of the book I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. It was so amazing and gorgeous. I can’t wait for the second book, LIKE I HAVE QUESTIONS PEOPLE. THEY NEED TO BE ANSWERED!

The plot was very intricate and I love how it all twisted in ways that you thought you knew what was going to happen, but you ended up being completely wrong. I thought the end was going to be so many different things. I’m dying to know where the next book will take us!

I love the cast of characters in this book. Something that Stevie openly struggles with in the book are mental health problems. While this is plainly seen, it isn’t the central focus of the novel. I like this representation and how it talks about how Stevie lives with her mental illness. Another thing Stevie struggles with is feeling like she fits in at Ellingham. All of the students have a thing that they are there for and Stevie is there to specifically solve the Ellingham case. She feels a bit like an impostor for being there, but I think this is what moves the plot forward.

Stevie’s friends Janelle and Nate are fun. I like their different relationships and how they are with each other. They aren’t quite as tight as other trios, but I think is what sets them out from the rest. There are a lot of friends groups that I know where everyone isn’t as close as you would think them to be. I feel that despite them not being as close they understand each other well. I can’t wait to see more of them in the next book(s)!!

One of my favorite parts of the book is the element of true crime. I recently got into BuzzFeed Unsolved series on YouTube, and ugh, I look forward to it every Friday night. I really connected with Stevie over this, and I wonder if she would follow the series too.

All in all, this was a wonderful book. I highly recommend it to crime lovers and people who love a good mystery.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Review: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Kick-off to 2018: My Goals & What I’m Up To

Hi all! I know this is a bit late and that I’ve already posted a bit since the year has started, but I really haven’t gotten into blogging the way I used to.

I came into 2018 wanting to do a lot more with this blog than I have in the past couple of years. It had become a bit of a chore because I felt like I didn’t have a lot of content to write about and with the number of posts that I wanted to do versus the time that I had to write them was few and far between.

That being said, I don’t think it’s ever too late to try to make something work or reinvent something you used to love. Since coming to college, I have tried so many different and new things that I have truly loved and things that I realized don’t have a place with me anymore. It’s truly a time of great change that a lot of people talk about, and it’s slowly being written about in today’s literature.

This post started out as a resolutions post, so why not continue with that theme? Here are some personal resolutions I have set for myself:

  • Read 100 books — I read 104 last year, exceeding my goal of 80, so I thought I’d set the bar high again. Maybe I’m a little ambitious?
  • Drink more water — seriously, I don’t do this enough and I find that sometimes I think I’m hungry but I drink some water and it turns out I was just really thirsty
  • Achieve at least a 3.5 GPA — I push myself hard academically, so this is nothing that isn’t new to me. I’m really hoping to keep up the good mojo I have from last semester!
  • Blog at least 3 times per week — Needless to say, I’ve already failed at this one, but I’m trying to work out a better schedule for myself to write more and sacrifice a little bit of my reading time
  • Complete another year of bullet journaling — Last year I got into the trend of bullet journaling! I made it through the whole year and it’s been a very useful tool for me. It’s also one of my creative outlets that I’ve found to be really relaxing.

Do you set resolutions? I know a lot of people do and a lot of people don’t. It’s something that I don’t always do, but turning over a new leaf and trying to cultivate some better habits for myself is always something I look to achieve.

With that I’m ready to wrap up this post! Thanks for joining me on this rambling post of mine.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂