Friday, May 25, 2018

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Title Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood #1)
By Becky Albertalli
Genre YA contemporary
Format Audiobook
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Simon has a secret that not even his closest friends knows. He's gay. The only person that knows is someone he's been emailing from his school that's gay too. As their romance blooms they struggle with whether they should reveal themselves to each other but when Simon's secret gets out things get complicated.

First Sentence
It's a weirdly subtle conversation.

Ever since I read Albertalli's The Upside on Unrequited I knew I had to read her other books. Somehow she writes in a way that just makes you so emotionally invested. I listened to this one in one go while I was mowing lawns etc at our house and rentals. Sure makes the time fly when you listen to audio books.

I'd given in and seen the movie before reading this one and found it adorable too and liked the subtle differences between the two. There's a fine line of balance when making a book into a movie; it can't be  too different but too similar and it's no fun either. This one did a great job. Both the movie and book were great.

While I didn't love this one as much as Unrequited I enjoyed it immensely and have already downloaded Leah on the Offbeat to listen to right away!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Review: Finnikin of the Rock

Title Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1)
By Melina Marchetta
Genre YA Fantasy
Format Print
Rating ⭐️

Since the royal family was killed and a usurper put on the thrown, Finnikin and his guardian have been outcasts from their beloved home. When Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, an arrogant and strange women who claims to know where the long lost prince is, he'll begin the journey of a lifetime.

First Sentence
When it finally appeared in the distance, Finnikin wondered if it was some phantom half-imagined in this soulless kingdom at the end of the world.

I've been wanting to read this book for ages! I love Marchetta's books and was eager to see her take on the fantasy genre. Why I didn't pick it up sooner, I don't know. I guess that's what you get when you have hundreds of books on your TBR list. Anywho, my book club decided to read it so I finally picked it up.

I don't know if it was timing, my mood, or a lackluster story but this one was a no go for me. Fantasy is pretty formulaic and that's OK. I get it. It's what I expect when I pick up the genre but I guess I was expecting Marchetta to bring something new to the table or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a fantasy but I was really unimpressed and had to drag my way through this one. It didn't help that I was trying to read it on vacation on the Oregon coast and, well, look at that view! It's hard to focus when the water is right there!

My other beef with this one was how much I disliked the two main characters. Finnikin was one of those overprotective annoying guy's I can't stand and Evanjalin was such a little snob. I really had to contain myself from reaching into the book and backhanding her!

So, yeah, I guess this one just wasn't a match for me. There's no telling if I would have like it if I'd read it at a different time so I just have to go off my impressions today and they weren't good. Not good at all.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

TV Talk Sundays #6

Hi! I haven't done one of these boring posts for awhile! So just in the nick of time, here you go.

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming 
(On TV now)

Season finales have happened, people. Let's talk.

 Jane The Virgin
What. The. Actual. F#&*! Did you guy's see this? I can't even! Mind blown! Why?! Why did it end that way? My only hope is that we have a long lost twin on our hands cause I just can't handle it!!!

Much less of a cliffhanger here. I do hope this series gets picked up for season two. It's completely ridiculous but I kinda like it.

The Good Doctor
This one had me choking up. I couldn't have handled watching poor Sean lose one more person in his life. This one better be coming back!

The Resident
I was SOOOOOOO happy to watch stupid Dr. Hunter get dragged off by the FBI. She's the biggest Beotch! If this one comes back next season I'll be watching. What can I say? I'm a sucker for medical dramas...even if they are all the same.


I've been watching The Chalet thanks to Greg's recommendation and liking it. If you like mysteries and can handle subtitles you should check it out.

I'm still working through season two of Jessica Jones but sadly am taking forever.

Aaaaaand that's all I have to report on. This is my busy time of year taking care of too many yards so I never have as much time as I want. The heat does drive me inside though so hopefully I can catch up on my ridiculously long Netflix watch list. That being said, I probably won't be doing too many of these posts during the summer. see how much faith I have in myself?)  But you never know, miracles do happen.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Review: Bitterblue

Title Bitterblue (Graceling Realms #3)
By Kristin Cashore
Genre YA Fantasy
Format Print
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Bitterblue has an overwhelming responsibility on her hands as the queen of a people ruled by a madman for 35 years. As she struggles to become the kind of queen her mother wanted of her she'll have to rely on her friends and her own intuitiveness to succeed.

First Sentence
Queen Bitterblue never meant to tell so many people so many lies.

I read Graceling, the first book in this series, ages ago when it first came out and Fire, the second book, not long after it's release. It took me six years to read this one after it's release. I even reread the first two in December to refresh my memory. I don't know why it took so long to get to this one, though, it was a perfect ending.

It was slow and a tad long but I loved ever minute of it. Watching Bitterblue maneuver the politics of her kingdom and her heart was a delight.

I enjoyed the return of old characters, especially Po and loved how it all came together and ended satisfactorily.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Review: Being Friends With Boys

Title Being Friends With Boys
By Terra Elan Mcvoy
Genre YA Contemporary
Format Ebook
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Charlotte has been friends with Oliver forever. Writing lyrics for his band and hanging out with him and Abe and Trip has been a blast but when Trip drops out of the band and things start changing dramatically. Will Charlotte be able to handle the changes or will she lose her friends forever.

First Sentence
I'm on the way up the stairs to my locker Monday morning when Abe down the other direction.

I did the absolute worst job with that synopsis. I apologize. This book has so much going on in it that's it's hard to capture it all in a tiny little synopsis. First of all, just know, that that cover is the worst pick for this book. It captures nothing that the book is about.

And I really liked this book. It wasn't the greatest thing I've ever read but it was very character driven and there was a lot of drama happening that both delighted and entertained me.

I love a book that can just keep me in the present and not have me thinking ahead to what might happen or who will end up with whom etc. This book was perfect that way. I was totally enmeshed in the story and the characters and am very interested in trying more books by this author now. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Review: Sometimes I Lie

Title Sometimes I Lie
By Alice Feeney
Genre Adult Psychological Thriller
Format Audio book
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

When Amber wakes up in a hospital she has no memory of how she got there. Even worse she's not really awake. She can hear everything going on around her but she's in a coma and can't talk or move. Alternating between one week before her accident and the present the truth slowly unfolds.

First Sentence
I've always delighted in the free fall between sleep and wakefulness.

Maybe you've heard of this one? It's fairly popular in the world of psychological thrillers made popular by the likes of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I find these to either be a hit or a miss for me.

Sadly, this one was a miss. I just don't get why people are raving about it. It was OK and I didn't see a few things coming but I did see enough to be unimpressed.

At one point I was listening and a huge reveal came but I was at at a restaurant ordering food so I paused it and then just sat there, my mind coming up with this really awesome way the story could go and how mind blowing it would be. Then I started listening again. Nope. It went some predictable boring way and I was left feeling disappointed.

On the bright side I have an awesome idea for a psychological thriller if I could make myself actually write it.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Review: Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers

Title Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers (Georgia Nicolson #6)
By Louise Rennison
Genre YA Contemporary
Format Print
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Georgia is back and this time she's traveling to America with her family. Maybe she can find her latest love interest Masimo.

First Sentence
Sun shining like a big yellow, warmey planet on fire thing.

I always read one of these during the read-a-thon but didn't manage to get to more than a few pages in. I decided to go ahead and finish it anyway.

This is the first time a book in this series had a little more depth to it and I loved it. Georgia is growing up and I'm loving watching it.

These books are great for a laugh and some cute romance but rarely have much depth to them so if you ever read them just go into them for some fun.

The ending of this one was a bit of a cliffhanger so I might have to read the next book sooner than intended.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Review: Drama

Title Drama
By Raina Telgemeier
Genre Middle Grade Graphic Novel
Format Print
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Callie loves the theater and is working on the new set design for her school's latest production, Moon Over Mississippi. Crushes, heartbreak and drama ensue.

First Sentence
"Do you think Mr. Madera will let me operate the spotlight again?"

For someone who isn't a big graphic novel fan, I love Telgemeier's books. They're so relatable and I'm not even the intended audience!

When I was young I acted in a few plays and, boy oh boy, did I have some serious crushes. I could totally relate to this one. It's my new favorite of hers.

As usual the art was wonderful and I couldn't put it down. I read it in one sitting, not that that's hard, but still.

Very fun story. I'd highly recommend Telgemeier for anyone trying to get into graphic novels.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

April Wrap-Up 2018

April was a busy month for me. With the concrete poured we got to start putting patio furniture in but that meant assembly which was a big headache. Plus it looks like spring is finally here and so we've had to start mowing at our rentals so....yeah, I'm crazy busy and when I get busy I often don't feel like reading in my downtime. So I didn't read that much this month. Dewy's 24 Hour Readthon helped me get two more books under my belt though.

Our new swing, Cliff has made himself at home, and the new fence on the north side of the house

Pergola minus the fire pit.  I'll get complete pictures one day
So there's a few pictures of the backyard for you. Now onto the books.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier, Optimists Die First by Susan Nielsen, Daughter of the Sun by Zoe Kalo, My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood, Ross Poldark by Winston Graham and Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Favorite of the month with five stars was Optimists Die First. Least Favorites was Daughter of the Sun.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Review: Daughter of the Sun

Title Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1)
By Zoe Kalo
Genre YA Paranormal/Supernatural
Format ebook

Trinity has only known life at the convent. She was dropped there days after her birth. When a grandmother pops out of the woodwork she's whisked away from the only life she's ever known to a world of magic, wealth, boys and cats. But something sinister is going on in her grandmother's house and as Trinity comes into her powers she'll have to put a stop to it.

First Sentence
Goosebumps snaked up my spine. 

*I received a copy of Daughter of the Sun from the great people at Author Assistant.* 

I agreed to read this one because I'm holding out the hope that someone someday will write a fun Egyptian based story.

Daughter of the Sun, sadly, wasn't that book for me. I felt like the story took way too long to get going and was incredibly predictable from nearly the first pages. I knew every twist and turn that was coming and not once found myself surprised which was a huge let down.

The book was edited cleanly but I felt like the story was one I'd heard a million times with all the cliches you'd expect.

I feel bad because I really wanted to like this one but I only found it and OK read. Sadly, I won't be continuing on with the series.