Week in Review: June 30

missprintweekreviewThis week on the blog you can check out:

This week I was feeling really overwhelmed by books (so something new for a change) and wished I could read faster. Then I decided that I *could* read faster by reading a book a day for a week. Which I did. It was a challenge and I wouldn’t recommend doing it for books you’re looking forward to savoring or anything BUT I did get through three books and was able to give them all away once I finished them. Not bad. I will definitely be doing something similar again in the future.

Here are two of my favorite posts I shared on Instagram this week:

How was your week? What are you reading?

June 2018 Reading Tracker

Books I Read:

  1. The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken
  2. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
  3. Wildcard by Marie Lu
  4. The Opposite of Here by Tara Altebrando
  5. Everywhere You Want to Be by Christina June
  6. My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
  7. Giant Days, Vol. 6
  8. Giant Days, Vol. 7
  9. Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf
  10. Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi
  11. Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk
  12. Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill
  13. The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  14. Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen
  15. The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault
  16. The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw

Books I Had Planned to Read:

Books Bought:

  1. Save the Date by Morgan Matson (Uppercase)
  2. Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart (Fairyloot)

ARCs Received:

  1. Check Please: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (Requested, Fierce Reads Package)
  2. Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll (Requested, Fierce Reads Package)
  3. The Tomb by S. A. Bodeen (Requested, Fierce Reads Package)
  4. What the Woods Keep by Ktya De Becerra (Requested, Fierce Reads Package)
  5. Galaxy Girls: 50 Amazing Stories of Women in Space by Libby Jackson (requested)
  6. Impostors by Scott Westerfeld
  7. The Broken Vow by Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland (requested)

You can also see what I read in May.

Now a Major Motion Picture: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

cover art for Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthyIris Thorne is dreading the movie adaptation of her grandmother’s Elementia books. Hailed as a feminist response to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings the Elementia books are seen as classic fantasy and have the diehard fans to prove it. The fandom even has a name: Thornians.

The movie adaptation is only going to make that worse. Iris and her family already had to deal with a crazy fan trying to abduct her younger brother, Ryder. She can’t imagine what will happen with a bigger fan base. Nothing good, that much is obvious.

Iris hopes that spending the summer in Ireland observing the production with Ryder will give her the perfect chance to sabotage the production. After all, if the movie never gets made no one will be able to watch it.

When Iris’s sabotage schemes are thwarted by dreamy leading actor Eamon and the crew’s infectious enthusiasm she starts to wonder if the one thing she has been dreading might also be the one thing she desperately needs in Now a Major Motion Picture (2018) by Cori McCarthy.

Find it on Bookshop.

Cori McCarthy’s latest standalone novel is a charming contemporary romance. Iris’s narration is razor sharp as she tries very hard to remain an outsider on the set even while the cast and crew do their best to befriend her.

Iris remembers the trauma her family has suffered because of the Elementia books and she is weary to let herself embrace that legacy even as she starts to learn more about its feminist themes and the director’s efforts to stay true to that in the adaptation. Iris is very much a fish out of water among the cast and crew and this is a charming story about how she starts to find her place there–and maybe even in her own family.

Now a Major Motion Picture has humor, a snarky narrator, and a swoony romance all set in a picturesque locale–in other words, all the makings of a perfect summer read.

Possible Pairings: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen, Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest, Royals by Rachel Hawkins, Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Eric Hicks, Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle, Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood, Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

The Opposite of Here: A Review

“There’s always somewhere else I want to go, but when I get there I always want to leave.”

cover art for The Opposite of Here by Tara AltebrandoThe last thing Natalie wants to do for her seventeenth birthday is go on a “sail-a-bration” cruise with her parents and best friends. Even nine months after her boyfriend died in a car accident it still feels too soon.

But once the plan is in motion, Natalie realizes there’s nothing she can do to stop it.

Her best friends Lexi, Nora, and Charlotte are excited so Natalie tries to be too. Lexi is ready for all the fun the cruise has to offer–especially if her boyfriend Jason never has to hear about it. Nora has been down for a while and Natalie hopes that maybe the cruise will do her some good. Maybe she’ll even find a new guy to like, it’s been a while. Charlotte is used to keeping a low profile at school and following the rules. On the cruise no one cares if she’s black enough or white enough–she can just be herself.

Natalie’s low expectations for the cruise rise when she unexpectedly meets a cute guy. He’s funny and exciting and Natalie’s attraction is immediate. But she doesn’t see him after their moonlit conversation and he blows off their plans to meet later.

At first the rejection stings and Natalie is prepared to move on. But then she starts to wonder if there might be more to it than that. How can a guy disappear on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean? Is it crazy to think he might have jumped?

Natalie isn’t sure where to start when she doesn’t even know his name. But she knows she has too look. The only problem is that the harder Natalie looks for answers, the more questions she seems to uncover in The Opposite of Here (2018) by Tara Altebrando.

Find it on Bookshop.

Altebrando’s latest standalone thriller is a perfect balance of suspense and intrigue as Natalie begins to investigate the bizarre disappearance of the guy she meets on the first night of her cruise.

Instead of chapters the novel is broken into days with the cruise itinerary marking the start of each new section. Assigned by her film studies teacher to shoot a two line film during the cruise, Natalie also imagines various scenarios in short screenplay snippets.

While not quite unreliable, Natalie is a restrained narrator holding back information from readers, and maybe even form herself, as she tries to move past the worst events of the last year. She is sardonic, capable, and singular in her search for the (possibly) missing boy.

Because of its short length and close focus on Natalie the rest of the characters in The Opposite of Here can feel less dimensional by comparison although they do each have their own arcs–something Natalie and readers realize together as Natalie comes to understand that she wasn’t the only one affected by her boyfriend’s death or the events of the cruise.

Taut pacing and menace imbue the pages as the narrative toes the line between reality and the power of suggestion in this story that asks readers to separate fact from fiction. The Opposite of Here is a tense thriller sure to keep readers guessing right until the last page. Highly recommended.

Possible Pairings: The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault, Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen, Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart, One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda, Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roerhig, The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma, Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*

Week in Review: June 23

missprintweekreviewThis week on the blog you can check out:

This week was simultaneously very long and also a whirlwind. Do you ever have that happen?

I started the week feeling really behind on everything but I think I’m back on track now which makes me happy. I am reselling stuff, getting books out of the house, catching up on reviews, and gearing up for some summer-specific things at work. How do you get back on track when you feel like you’ve lost moment on, well, everything?

This week I read quite a bit including Wildcard and, you guys, I am so sad I didn’t enjoy it more. Maybe I was able to buy into the hype better with Warcross but I am just not feeling this one.

Here are two of my favorite posts I shared on Instagram this week:

How was your week? What are you reading?

BookExpo 2018 Recap Day Two: Books, Pics, and Everything I Did

You can also check out my full recap of day one!

Day Two

On day two, Nicole and I thought we could plan to leave later than the day before since were already registered. But then I panicked and we wound up leaving early still which was a good call because it was raining and took a while to get a cab to the Javits Center. Then when we arrived we found our usual coat check was full and had to detour to a different floor to drop off our bags. But of course we still had time to mill around waiting for the show floor to open.

Look at this fun banner that was there for Kevin Henkes upcoming picture book:

Look elephants! banner at BookExpo 2018I also was able to take a start-of-day selfie with a new dress that I’m obsessed with.

(I also posted this selfie to Twitter with the tag which was a little embarrassing later when I was waiting on a line and people saw it as one of the latest tweets in the BookExpo hashtag. Oops!)

Continue reading BookExpo 2018 Recap Day Two: Books, Pics, and Everything I Did

BookExpo 2018 Recap Day One: Books, Pics, and Everything I Did

This year Nicole and I were both approved to attend BookExpo as Press and I have to admit it felt like order was restored. I decided to keep things simple this year and had very few big priorities. With the event being two days (without any added things) it was also lower key that it had been in a while.

Day One

Nicole and I started the day with a very circuitous hunt for registration to pick up our badges (this also included both of us accidentally ending up in the International Franchise Expo registration line but we quickly realized our mistake).

With badges in hand, it was time to do some waiting for the show floor to open.

I started the day with a selfie. As one does.

This was also the debut of my shorter hair cut after a failed attempt to grow it out this winter. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have short hair again!

Continue reading BookExpo 2018 Recap Day One: Books, Pics, and Everything I Did

Unearthed: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

cover art for Enearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerEarth’s natural resources are running out already creating harmful divisions between the wealthy and the destitute. A coded message from a long-extinct alien race seems to promise help. The Undying promise advanced technology and riches waiting to be found on their home planet Gaia–things that could help reverse Earth’s environmental damage and change lives. That is if anyone can get through the cunning and dangerous traps left behind by the Undying.

Jules Addison is a scholar and a linguist. He grew up watching his father decode the first message of the Undying and he has watched his father deal with the consequences of speaking out against the governments plan to explore Gaia heedless of the risks and hazards of venturing forward too quickly. Mia Radcliffe is a scavenger. Smuggled onto Gaia by mercenaries, Mia hopes to loot enough Undying tech to be able to buy her sister’s freedom. And her own way back to Earth.

Jules and Mia are on opposite sides in the exploration of Gaia. With limited resources and time running out to get back to Earth they will have to forge an uneasy alliance to solve Gaia’s riddles if they hope to survive. Onward if you dare in Unearthed (2017) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

Unearthed is the thriller start to Kaufman and Spooner’s new duology. The novel is alternates chapters between Mia and Jules’ first person narration.

This book has been marketed as Lara Croft and Indiana Jones in space which is completely accurate. Unearthed is filled with nail-biting cliffhangers and shocking twists and Jules and Mia struggle to work together and survive the many obstacles they face on Gaia.

Despite the high stakes and the action, the pace often drags as Jules and Mia privately stew over their growing attraction and the (often fraught) aspects of their alliance. Repetitive traps and chase scenes further slow down what should be a breakneck story.

Unearthed is perfect for readers looking for solid science fiction and fans of adventure stories. A must read for fans of the authors’ Starcrossed trilogy.

Possible Pairings: The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier, Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray, Warcross by Marie Lu, Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh, Partials by Dan Wells, The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration at BookExpo 2017*

Down Among the Sticks and Bones: A Review

“Every choice feeds every choice that comes after, whether we want those choices or no.”

cover art for Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuireIdentical twins Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way back home and were immediately sent off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children before they could bring disorder to their parents’ tidy life.

This is the story of what happened before they came back.

Jacqueline and Jillian were a matched set–identical. Perfect for their parents to split up and mold after themselves. Jacqueline wore pretty dresses and was polite and quite–her mother’s perfect daughter. Jillian was smart and loud, a tomboy through and through–not quite the son her father wanted but close.

They were five when they learned that grown ups can’t be trusted and sisters can’t always be close. They were twelve when they walked down an impossible staircase and found a world filled with death and horror where, for the first time, they can choose who they might want to be in Down Among the Sticks and Bones (2017) by Seanan McGuire.

Find it on Bookshop.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones is the second book in McGuire’s Wayward Children series of novellas which begins with Every Heart a Doorway. This novella is a prequel to the series starter.

It is an interesting exercise in patience to read the followup to an exciting novella only to realize it is a prequel and will offer no hints of what comes after for the characters you’ve already met and started to care about. Despite desperately wanting to see what happens next at the school, Down Among the Sticks and Bones is an excellent addition to the series.

McGuire continues to develop this series with strong world building and thoughtful character development. Because of the prequel nature this story can be read out of order although that will dilute some of the impact of the character development across the series.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones plays with preconceived notions about heroes and villains in a world where, in the absence of a true hero, the lesser villain may unwittingly take on the position. The story is also a scathing commentary on absent and controlling parents. The usually powerful bond between sisters seen in fantasy novels is subverted here as Jack and Jill realize they are only able to come into their own when they are apart.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones is another excellent addition to this strange little series of novellas. Perfect for readers of both fantasy and horror. Fans of the series can only hope future installments will offer as much insight into other characters’ stories.

Possible Pairings: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova, The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, The Perilous Gard by Mary Elizabeth Pope, Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Scwhab, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

Week in Review: June 16

missprintweekreviewThis week on the blog you can check out:

I got so much done this week and I felt so terrible for a lot of it. Happy to say after really babying myself this weekend I am feeling MUCH better. This week I read Muse of Nightmares and wow. This one really made the series for me. Watch for it in October.

For reasons that are unclear I had a really good week on Instagram and am hoping it continues (but also like I’m holding my breath because it’s such a fickle site). Yesterday was Pokemon Go community day and I finally was able to evolve a Tyranitar and even caught a Shiny Larvitar. Huzzah!

I also made a glorious return to #booksfortrade on Twitter to make some wishes come true for friends. And I think I’m done now. It’s a lot of work, it can be frustrating. And I’m growing weary of feeding the machine that helps people be ridiculous. (Look, I loved Six of Crows too. You don’t need the UK arc. Move on with your life.)

I am going to try something different with listing some older titles for adoption (books for free in exchange for shipping and a review) so if you’re a US blogger be sure to watch the ARC adoption page for an update!

I’m a little overwhelmed by books right now. Like I have four different book piles on my desk at the moment. I had been reading books I was really excited about (The Darkest Legacy, Muse of Nightmares) but now I think I’m going to have to shift back to reading a couple that I just have been putting off and also maybe won’t keep because my owned books are currently at 334(!) and I have learned from experience that I only have room for 290 or less.

Here are two of my favorite posts I shared on Instagram this week:

How was your week? What are you reading?