wrap up

August 2016 Wrap Up

August was a really interesting reading month for me because without meaning to (at least at the beginning) I only read new-to-me authors, which was really exciting because I didn’t know what to expect, except for what other people had told me. Also, August was a very stressful month for me with uni stuff and things in my personal life, and when that happens I always end up reading contemporaries, both YA and NA. So that’s all I read this month (with one exception).

A recommendation before you read this wrap up: don’t pay so much attention to my ratings and focus on what I said about the book, because I was really harsh with ratings this month. The things is, I read this amazing series recently and I’m so obssesed with it that it set the bar really high for contemporaries, both NA and YA. I’m just saying I was harsh with my rating this month. 

Without further ado, here are the books I read this month:


Poems by Maya Angelou (3,7 stars)

I usually have a hard time with poetry, but this collection was so good. I’m not saying I ‘got’ all of it, but most of it I did get and I enjoyed it a lot. Really haunting and profund. 

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord (3,5 Stars) 

I really enjoyed this; it was cute and funny, even if it didn’t have anything that unique about it. Great female friendship and family relationships. Perfect to read when you are stressed or sad. Here’s my review



Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (3 Stars) 

I felt like there was something missing in this book; but there was still an amazing female friendship and the romance was good, even if it didn’t blow me away. Here’s my review


P.S. I Like You by Kasie West (3,5 stars)

This was a book I was highly anticipating. I found the concept incredibly interesting and I really liked the romance. I will definetely read more Kasie West in the future. 

Wait for You by J. Lynn (3 Stars)

I really liked Cam, the main male character, and his family. The romance was alright. I didn’t particulary like the main female character, Avery, but she wasn’t terrible. I actually don’t have that much more to say about this, but I still want to read the next book. So I don’t know how to feel about it. 

I also read The Proposal by J.Lynn, which is twitter fiction about Cam and Avery and took place after Wait for You. (3 stars)


The Deal by Elle Kennedy (3,5 Stars) 

I really liked the main characters in this book and the romance was so good. This book had something really unique about it and it’s the fact that miscommunication wasn’t used to creat drama. Also, hot and stemy scenes. Overall, I really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone who likes NA. Here’s my review



The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan ( 2,8 stars) 


I don’t entirely remember why this got such a low rating, but I think this was entertaining. I wouldn’t say don’t read it, it just  that in a stream of books that were pretty similar, this wasn’t my favorite. 




Him by Sarina Bowen and Ellen Kennedy (3,2 Stars)
This book was so cute; Jamie and Wes were so perfect for each other. Also, it was really hot, like really, really hot. I loved how the LGBTQ aspect was handled, how it was discussed. YOU SHOULD READ THIS! 



Smut by Karina Halle (2,8 Stars) 

This book had an interesting concept that could have been executed better, or I don’t know if it was because I was expecting something different. A book about two characters writing erotica together, sounded really cool. But I thought it was gonna be more like,  let’s wirte a book that’s good and that it happens to have sex in it, but it turn out to be let’s make a bad book full of cliches so it sells. Aso, it was not as hot and stemy as I wanted it to be.  




Chase me by Tessa Bailey (2,8 stars) 

There was insta-love and there was only like 2 steamy scenes in the entire book. Also, it was really short, so there wasn’t that much time to be invested in the characters lifes and the romance as I said was really inta-lovey, and because it was so short, it felt like this book ended really abruptly. 





CHALLENGES PROGRESS
RockMyTBR:  P.S I Like You, Maya Angelou’s Poems (18/12)
Flights of Fantasy: This is so weird, but I didn’t read fantasy this month  ( 20/ 30 )
Backlist Books: Maya Angelou’s Poems, Him, Wait for You, Open Road Summer, The Deal, The Start of Me and You     (47/ 20)
Finishing the Series:   (2/3-6)  


Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Leave me links to your August wrap up, I would love to check them out! 






Review

Book Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Title: The Deal

Author: Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: February 24th 2015

Genre: NA, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 342

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Goodreads | Amazon

Things I liked:

1.The main characters, Garrett and Hannah, were incredible. Hannah was a talented singer and loved what she did, and she was confident and smart, even if she had her insecurities. On the other hand, Garret was cocky but considerate, he was passionate about hockey and it was funny to discover that he knew a lot about history (his major) and really enjoyed what he was studying.
 
2.The interactions between Garrett and Hannah were incredibly funny and witty, their conversations made the fact that they fell for each other believable and it made this a really enjoyable read.  
 
3.The fact that the characters actually communicated! Even when they disagreed or had an argument, they talked to each other and fixed it. It’s so weird to find that in new adult books or at least I haven’t found it in the books I have read, and I was so glad that miscommunication wasn’t used as a way to create drama.
 
4.This book was definitely not all about sex; the scene related scenes started like halfway through (maybe?). Nonetheless, when they started, there were so freaking hot!
 
5.Garrett’s roommates were amazing! They were funny, they were good friends and their relationship with Hannah was amazing. I really like that the rest of the series is about each of them, because I definitely want to know more.
 
Things I didn’t like:
 

1.The plot was very tropey and unoriginal; I’m putting this in the things that I don’t like, because a book always gets point with me if it has an original plot. BUT If I’m being honest, even if this had a very typical plot, I didn’t really have a problem with it.

2. I don’t understand why one or both of the main characters in new adult books always has to have this traumatic thing that happened to them. (BTW, trigger warning for rape). In this book, it was handled well because it wasn’t about getting over those bad things that happened, they were a part of the characters but not what defined them. Still, it was so not necessary; this book could have done without that. I understand that this heavy subjects are important, but why every single NA book has to have them?!. 

Rating: 3,5 stars 
 
Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Do you have some New Adult books to recommend me? 
Review

Mini Reviews: The Start of Me and You & Open Road Summer by Emery Lord




August has been a really stressful month for me, the only thing I have been reading are contemporaries, both YA and NA. Here are my mini reviews for some of the YA contemporaries I read at the beginning of the month. Next week I will be posting mini review for some of my NA reads, I hope you check them out! 


Title: The Start of Me and You
Author: Emery Lord  
Publication Date: March 31st 2015
Published by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 384

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?


The Start of Me and You was a fun and quick read, which was what I wanted to read at  the time, but it had nothing unique about it; I have read books with similar plots and characters. Nonetheless, it was still a sweet and charming book. One of my favorite things about it was the love interest, Max; he was such a nice, smart, nerdy guy. I really liked him even if he was really similar to other YA main male characters.  Another thing I appreciated was that there was not instalove, the book showed how the romantic relationship developed. I loved seeing Paige and Max, the main characters, getting closer through their conversations when they were in the car together. I also really enjoyed the quiz bowl aspect of the book and the role it played in their relationship. 


Outside the main characters and the romance, I thought the writing was good, even if it wasn’t anything spectacular. I really liked the way Emery Lord made female friendship and family reationships such an important part of the book. Outside Paige’s relationship with Max, the book was about her relationship with her grandmother, with her best friend, with her mother and with her sister. I think YA books that deal with families that are present in the life of teenagers and positve relationships between female characters are so important. The fact that The Start of You and Me did both of those things was what I loved the most and what I found more valuable about the book. 

Rating: 3.5 Stars


Title: Open Road Summer

Author: Emery Lord  
Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Published by: Walker Childrens
Pages: 352

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.
Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.


I decided to read Open Road Summer for two reason: roadtrip and musicians; at the end I enjoyed both of those aspects of the book. Nonehteless,  I feel like the thing that made this book stand out is the fact that Regan, the main character, was different from the usual YA main character. She had this brash demeanor that made her unlikable at times, but there was also a vulnerability to her that made her a more complex character. Other interesting thing, it’s that I feel there was a reversal of the roles, because Regan’s best friend, Dee, was more similar to what someone may expect from a YA main character, and in this book, Regan is the protagonist instead. I think it’s important to point put that this books was mainly about Regan and Dee’s friendship and the romance was more a subplot, which it’ not that easy to find in contemporaries. 

Nonetheless, there was still romance in the book, but it was not cute or fluffy or sweet. I think Emery Lord intentionally tried to make it a more  sarcastic and witty dynamic, but it didn’t completely worked out. At the end, I enjoyed the romance and I really, really liked the love interest, Matt (he was funny, caring, he could sing and play the guitar and he had a tattoo that sounded really hot), but I still felt like there was something missing.


Rating: 3 stars

Have you read these books? Did you like them? What contemporary books do you recommend? Let me know in the comments! 
Bookish Posts Around the Web

Bookish Post Around the Web # 4



Hi guys! I’m back! I have not been around that much for the last two weeks, I started my new semester at Uni and it’s been really hectic because I have to present my reserch plan for my dissertation before the semester ends. I have been so stressed out that I have barely posted anything and I have not been checking out blog posts. Thankfully I have managed to read a bit, so that’s good. Anyway, today was my catch up day and I found some amazing blog posts, so I’m posting some of my favorite. 

1) This is a really interesting and helpful post about How to Plan a Blog Event . This was a guest post by Claire from Cover to Cover over at Chasing Faerytales.

2) As always,, Cait @ Paper Fury has an unique and entertaining blog post for all of us. This time is Under-Appreciated Bookworm Talents. 

3) I was very surprised to find a post that resonated so much with my expiriences, especially, with my decisions about Uni and my majors (anthropology and political sciences). This is an amazing guest post by Jillian form Jillian’s Book and it was posted in Cover to Cover and it’s called How Reading Shapes Life Expiriences. 

4) So many good recommendations in one post! Here are the 17 Must Read Books This Summer posted by Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner. 

5) It’s Twirling Pages blogiversary and the celebratory post is really sweet post about What Blogging Means to Her. Also, there’s a giveaway. 

6) Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner gives amazing book recommendations, that becomes obvious because this is the second post of book recs by her on this list. Whatcha in the Mood for? The Romance (or Lack of One) Edition
If you read or wrote an amazing post this week, don’t be shy! Leave me the link in the comments, I would love to check it out. 
blitz

Blitz (+GIVEAWAY) : Up in the Treehouse by K.K Allen

Hi guys! Today I bring you two teasers and a playlist by K.K Allen, the author of Up in the Treehousea book that sounds really interesting and that I can’t wait to read. Also, you can enter the amazing giveaway at the end of the post. I hope you enjoy this ! 


Title: Up in the Treehouse
Author: K.K. Allen
Publication date: July 19th 2016

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

I wanted to tell him all my secrets, but he became one of them instead.
Chloe Rivers never thought she would keep secrets from her best friend. Then again, she never imagined she would fall in love with him either. When she finally reveals her feelings, rejection shatters her, rendering her vulnerable and sending her straight into the destructive arms of the wrong guy.
Gavin Rhodes never saw the betrayal coming. It crushes him. Chloe has always been his forbidden fantasy–sweet, tempting, and beautiful. But when the opportunity finally presents itself, he makes the biggest mistake of all and denies her.
   Now it’s too late . . .
Four years after a devastating tragedy, Chloe and Gavin’s world’s collide and they find their lives entangling once again. Haunted by the past, they are forced to come to terms with all that has transpired to find the peace they deserve. Except they can’t seem to get near each other without combatting an intense emotional connection that brings them right back to where it all started . . . their childhood treehouse.
Chloe still holds her secrets close, but this time she isn’t the only one with something to hide. Can their deep-rooted connection survive the destruction of innocence?
                                      Goodreads| Amazon| B&N| iTunes

                                                                       TEASERS

PLAYLIST  (Click here)
GIVEAWAY! 
discussion

An Awkward Conversation About YA Books & "Money Grabs"




I’m not a person that likes controversy and that’s why I have always stayed away from the “money grab” conversations that happen sometimes in the bookish community on twitter. But it has gotten to a point where it’s not only annoying and frustrating, but also incredibly sad because there’s this feeling that a lot of people seem to share of being ‘taken advantage of’, it’s feeling like something they love is being used against them in some way, and that sucks. That’s definitely not something I want to see in this community. I want to clarify that I’m only talking about YA books, because that’s the genre that I read the most and the people I follow on twitter read mostly YA books as well.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about with the whole “money grab” situation, let me tell you. I think “money grab” started to appear in a lot of conversations about book series having cover changes at some point after the first book (whether it’s the second book, or in the middle of the series or  with the last book). A lot of people felt like these cover changes were a “money grab”, a strategy to make us buy the book twice, because it was either staying with covers that didn’t match (which a lot of people, me included, hate) or re-buying all the books that were already out with the new covers. These cover changes have happened a lot of times in the past and lately there has been a really strong response against it from the community. I don’t know if you heard about  the cover change for The Winner’s Curse trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, but the bookish community responded with a lot of frustration and thanks to how strong the reaction was, the publishers decided to release the last book with the original cover (even if they also released all the books in the new covers).

That’s definitely not the only time that “money grab” has come out in conversations about YA books. The fact that there are YA versions of adult books that are being released (like the Da Vinci Code) has being thought to be a “money grab”, because it’s not necessary at all, YA readers are perfectly able to read the Da Vinci Code in the adult version. Also, the fact that there is gonna be 3 editions of the same book with the same cover just because each edition is gonna have a different bonus chapter has also generated a lot of conversation about being a “money grab” because if you want the 3 bonus chapters you have to buy a copy of each edition even if it’s the same book (if you don’t know that’s what’s gonna happen with Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas).  Lastly, there was a conversation about the necessity of a book being release with 3 different covers in the same day, even if they are all beautiful, there was some people talking about it being a “money grab” (it was a conversation about the Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake).

Here are some really important disclaimers: I actually enjoyed all of the books mentioned above (except Three Dark Crowns, because I haven’t read it yet) and Sarah J. Maas is one of my favorite authors, so I’m not talking badly about the books or the authors. What I’m trying to do is think about the publishing industry beginning with the fact that I understand that it’s an industry and it’s looking to make money out of the books it publishes. I also want to think about the fact that situations like the ones I just mentioned are becoming more and more common and I think it has to do with the fact that the popularity of YA books keeps increasing.
Even if I understand what I say before, the ‘business’ side of the publishing industry, it still makes me incredibly sad to have to think about books that way, and the thing is, we don’t get a choice because we know this books are coming out and we are faced with the 3 editions of the same book and we realize that we can’t have all the bonus chapters (I know some people can, but I think I’m talking about a majority here) because that means spending three times more money for the same book. So we are confronted with the ‘business’ side and I’m not gonna lie, at least for me, it ruins the magic of books a little bit.

This is not the kind of post were I can offer solutions or think about ways around this. Honestly, I wasn’t really trying to make a point with all of this, except that it sucks. I don’t know what else to say. 
wrap up

July 2016 Wrap Up



July was a really interesting reading month for me; I spent the first week and a half reading a really long book, then I participated in a readathon and read 3 and half books, and lasty I became obsessed with a 10 books series and I read all the books in a week and a half. If you know your math that means I read 14 books in a month. I can’t believe it! I have never read 14 books in a month in my life and I’m really excited about it! 


A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (4 stars)
I want to say this one thing: I LOVE TYRION! He is favorite characters of the series. With that said, this book was told from multiple POV’s, most of them were POV’s that were in book 1 so I already liked them and most of the new POV’s I enjoyed as well. My main problem with this book was  the chapters told from Theon’s POV, he was a new narrator because his pov wasn’t in the first book and I found him to be really boring, which is weird because in this series even the bad guys I find really interesting and the only character that I have not enjoyed so far is Theon. Anyway, great writing, complex world and interesting character for the most part. This was really good! 

The next 3 books I read for the Make Me Read It Readathon, my goal was to read at least 4 books during the readathon, but the books I chose were a bit long so that wasn’t possible. Also, I also read half of The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, but I was not enjoying it that much and it was pretty long, so after the readathon ended I decided to stop reading it and maybe go back to it at another time. So here are the 3 books I read:


Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (3,7 stars)

I think this book had a lot of potencial and even if I did end up enjoying it, I was expecting so much more. The characters were good but not incredible, I felt like there was something missing and I couldn’t develop a strong connection to them. The time travel was explained  in a very superficial way but that did not take away from the story, because it was more about the dynamic between time travelers than about time travel itself. Also, the time traveled to some interesting places and times at the beginning, but then there were some other places and times that were not as interesting. 


Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (3,8 stars) 

My main problem with this book is that I think the characters weren’t fully fleshed out and they weren’t distinctive at all, especially Alina and Mal, they got drag were the plot needed them and they didn’t have any agency. If you took away her powers and his tracker skills, they both have such a basic and half-done personality. A lot of thing happened in the first 30% of this book and then almost nothing until the very end. Nonetheless, I flew through this and I’m pretty sure it was Leigh Bardugo’s writing, which allowed me to lose myself in it. When I got to the last part of the book, I was actually surprised by some of the things that happened which is always good.



I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (3,7 stars) 


After reading a few Sophie Kinsella books, I feel like the main characters of her novels are variations of the same character, which is a bit annoying. Nonetheless, I always have fun reading her books, I end up laughing out loud which doesn’t happen that often. In this book, the romance was really good and there was a very beautifully written scene in the woods. 

Addicted/ Calloway Sisters series by Krista and Becca Ritchie
(My overall rating for this series is around 4 stars)
These series were incredibly character driven, which I love, and that made me become completely obsessed with the characters so I couldn’t stop reading, I finished a book and immediately picked up the next one. These series dealt with so many important subjects like consent, sex addiction, PTSD, alcoholism, OCD, depression, self-worth, the power of the media, and all of them were handled so well and all of those things made the dynamic between the characters really complex and interesting. But what these series were really about was love and family, and it was really beautiful. (I will post my series review soon, but for now, I made a Let’s Put Music to the Book post for these series.   
CHALLENGES PROGRESS
RockMyTBR:  A Clash of Kings, I’ve Got Your Number, Siege and Storm, Passenger  (16/12)
Flights of Fantasy: A Clash of KingsPassenger, Siege and Storm ( 20/ 30 )
Backlist Books: A Clash of Kings, 8 of the books in the addicted/Calloway Sisters series, I’ve Got Your Number, Siege and Storm   (41/ 20)
Finishing the Series:   (2/3-6)  

Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Leave me links to your june wrap up, I would love to check them out!