July 2018 Reading Tracker

I finally read all of the books I had set aside to read this month. I’m also getting to a lot that have been lingering as books I sort of wanted to read soon but never got to. Here’s how it all shook out:

Books I Read:

  1. The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
  2. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  3. Spill Zone: The Broken Vow by Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland
  4. Witch Born by Nicholas Bowling
  5. The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw
  6. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
  7. Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
  8. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert
  9. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Ademeyi
  10. Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
  11. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  12. Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder
  13. Whisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolcser
  14. The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
  15. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
  16. Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
  17. The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas
  18. Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre

Books I Had Planned to Read:

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What are you hoping to read this month? 📚 These are the books I’m planning to get to. I’m halfway through Unclaimed Baggage but I’ve been savoring it as I read with a friend. I’m also hoping to buddy read Grace and Fury later this month with @cassieopiabooks. 📚 Since some of these books are rather large I’m going for a trimmed down tbr for the month. Wish me luck! 📚 (And remember you can always check my profile here to see what I’m currently reading listed in my bio!) 📚 #instabooks #currentlyreading #amreading #instareads #bookgram #bookworm #bookblogging #bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #booklove #bookphotography #instabook #reading #reader #booktography #bookstagram #igreads #booksofinstagram #goodreads #bookaholic #bookish #bookishfeature #bookstafeatures #bookstagramfeature #readersofinstagram #unitedbookstagram #fairyloot #booksandfunko #toread

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Books Bought:

  1. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (July Uppercase)

ARCs Received:

  1. The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester (requested)
  2. Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre (not requested)

You can also see what I read in June.

The Darkest Legacy: A Review

“In darkness, you only needed to see just as far as your headlights extended. As long as you kept going, it was enough.”

“We’ve inherited the darkest legacy, but they don’t know that we’ve learned how to thrive in shadows and create our own light.”

Five years ago Suzume “Zu” Kimura and her friends helped end President Gray’s corrupt administration and the camp system that imprisoned the child survivors of IANN while claiming to rehabilitate them and “cure” their psychic abilities. Back then it had been easy to believe that change was possible.

But now Zu is seventeen and after watching Chubs and Vida try to work within a governmental system that fears them, she isn’t sure if true change–or true freedom–is possible. As a spokesperson, Zu tries to convince the public that the government is helping even as new legislation continues to restrict Psi rights.

When she is framed for committing a terrorist attack, Zu has to clear her name before her supposed guilt becomes an excuse to punish other Psi. Zu forms an uneasy alliance with Roman and Priyanka–two Psi who say they want to help her but might just as easily betray her. As they grow closer Zu realizes that Roman and Priyanka’s secrets are key to understanding the darkness that’s been allowed to fester while the interim government works to restore order.

With no one left to trust, Zu has to depend on herself and her voice as she tries to save the friends who once rescued her and effect real change in The Darkest Legacy (2018) by Alexandra Bracken.

The Darkest Legacy is a tense, frenetic return to the world of Bracken’s Darkest Minds trilogy (soon to be a motion picture staring Amandla Stenberg). Zu’s story is self-contained and largely independent from Ruby’s arc in the original trilogy. Familiarity with the previous books will give readers a larger appreciation for this standalone installment. The novel starts with Zu’s found family fractured over whether they should work within or outside of the government–a moral issue Zu struggles with both in the present story and in flashback chapters.

Zu’s Japanese-American heritage is thoughtfully portrayed and informs her lingering anger and post-traumatic stress from being in a Psi camp. The rest of the cast is equally inclusive including non-American characters who bring a different perspective to the Psi situation in the United States.

Zu has grown a lot since her time in the camp and with the Black Betty gang. She is desperate to convince her friends, and herself, that she is fine–that she’s not the girl who stopped talking for a year anymore. But it’s only when she acknowledges past traumas and hurts–both her own and those of other Psi–that she begins to understand her own strength as a survivor.

As Zu learns more about the government’s misdeeds and her own role in advocating for them, she realizes she has to question everything she believes about the government and herself as she tries to find her own way–and her own moral code–to make a place for Psi in a society that doesn’t always want to acknowledge or accept them.

The Darkest Legacy is an empowering story of independence, resilience, and one girl’s decision to act even in the face of impossible odds and indifference. A must-read for fans of the series and a nail-biting introduction for readers discovering it for the first time.

Possible Pairings: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, White Cat by Holly Black, The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, False Memory by Dan Krokos, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, The Archived by Victoria Schwab, All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration at BookExpo 2018*

*A more condensed version of this review was published in School Library Journal*

Week in Review: July 28

missprintweekreviewThis week on the blog you can check out:

This has been such a full moon week lol. I am feeling on a more even keel after surviving Mock Printzmas in July (my book got an honor woot!).

Also: I have news!

I’m hosting a reading challenge in August. Are you in?

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

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You can only choose one: Pirates or ninjas? ▪️▪️▪️ My answer is always pirates. I’m currently reading Whisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolcser. It’s the sequel to Song of the Current—book I discovered last year when my friend @edenn85 reviewed it for SLJ and when I got a copy in one of my first @uppercasebox subscriptions. ▪️▪️▪️ While this story isn’t as contemplative as book one (I’m 51 pages in and there have already been three assassination attempts!), I’m excited to return to the world of the Riverlands and see what’s in store for ship captain Caro and Markos as he tries to reclaim his throne. ▪️▪️▪️ #instabooks #currentlyreading #amreading #instareads #bookgram #bookworm #bookblogging #bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #booklove #bookphotography #instabook #reading #reader #booktography #bookstagram #igreads #booksofinstagram #goodreads #bookaholic #bookish #bookishfeature #bookstafeatures #bookstagramfeature #readersofinstagram #unitedbookstagram #sarahtolcser #songofthecurrent #uppercasebox

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What’s one of your favorite book tropes? ▪️ I love books where characters start out hating each other only to become friends. It’s why Foolish Hearts is a favorite of mine and why I’m already loving The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. ▪️ Clara Shin is used to being in trouble. It comes with the territory when you’re a practical joker. But whatever. It’s always worth the laughs, right? ▪️ At least it is until the joke Clara pulls at junior prom goes too far ending with a fight and a fire. ▪️ Now instead of coasting through the summer and hanging out with her influencer mom for two weeks in Tulum, Clara is spending the summer working on her father’s food truck with her nemesis Rose Carver. ▪️ Working on the KoBra all summer with Rose is sure to be a nightmare. But it might also be the wake up call the both Clara and Rose need. ▪️ #instabooks #currentlyreading #amreading #instareads #bookgram #bookworm #bookblogging #bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #booklove #bookphotography #instabook #reading #reader #booktography #bookstagram #igreads #booksofinstagram #goodreads #bookaholic #bookish #bookishfeature #bookstafeatures #bookstagramfeature #readersofinstagram #unitedbookstagram #thewayyoumakemefeel #maurenegoo #uppercasebox

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How was your week? What are you reading?

Get ready for #missprintbookaday on August 25

Big news, everyone!

I’m hosting a reading challenge this August. I’m hoping to make it a monthly thing so stay tuned for updates.

The challenge can be done on your blog, Twitter, Instagram, or a combination of all three. It’s part reading challenge or read-a-thon, part photo challenge, and maybe even a Twitter chat. It’s also really low key.

Here are the details for my first ever Miss Print Book-A-Day Challenge

  • When: August 25 to August 31 (if this goes well it will be back!)
  • Where: Anywhere you want. You can share updates on Twitter or Instagram as well as on your blog.
  • How: Between August 25 and 31 you commit to reading one book a day and talking about it. Use the hashtag #missprintbookaday to share titles, updates, anything you want.

I’ve made a handy graphic you can use for photo prompts if you need them (or make up your own!):

My vision is for the challenge to be low key–you can read as many or as few books as you want.

Since it’s my blog birthday month, I’ll also be doing a small giveaway for someone who participates every day of the challenge so be sure to use the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram so I can see your updates.

Questions, comments, other concerns? Let me know in the comments! (Or just let me know if you’ll be joining the fun!)

My So-Called Bollywood Life: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Winnie Mehta’s future is all planned out. At least it was according to her family’s pandit. According to his star chart readings Winnie would meet the love her life before her eighteenth birthday. His name would start with the letter R and he would give her a silver bracelet.

The signs couldn’t have been clearer that Winnie’s true love was Raj. He meets every qualification.

Until Winnie comes home from a summer at film camp and finds out that Raj decided their break was more of a breakup.

Obviously Winnie is never going to love anyone ever again and the stars are liars.

Winnie can’t even lose herself in film club work at school when Raj ends up stealing her spot as chair of the student film festival.

Suddenly nothing about Winnie’s future is mapped out and her life seems to be taking a dramatic turn from her promised Bollywood style happy ending.

Fellow film geek Dev might be the only one who might understand and be able to help Winnie get back on track. Dev is funny, charming, and helps Winnie try to see beyond her prophecy. But as Winnie starts to fall for Dev she wonders if choosing him means she has to give up on her happy ending in My So-Called Bollywood Life (2018) by Nisha Sharma.

Sharma’s debut YA novel is a zany contemporary romance sure to appeal to movie lovers. Each chapter starts with a snippet of a Bollywood movie review from Winnie’s blog. Back matter at the end of a book gives a rundown of all of the movies mentioned in the story and more.

Winnie is a smart, driven character but she is also prone to melodrama and quick decisions. (The novel opens with Winnie literally burying her past by digging a grave for all of the gifts she gave to her ex-boyfriend in the last three years.) This rash behavior leaves ample room for humor and misunderstandings befitting a book that is partially an ode to Bollywood films.

Winnie’s family speaks Punjabi and Hindi and the combination of cultures and customs imbues Winnie’s life and informs the story as much as her love of Bollywood films. Sweet romance, drama, and action make this novel pure escapist fun at its finest.

My So-Called Bollywood Life is a must read for movie lovers, Bollywood aficionados, and anyone looking for a great high school romance that has as many laughs as it does swoons.

Possible Pairings: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo, From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon, Bookish Boyfriends: A Date With Darcy by Tiffany Schmidt, Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes, Lucky in Love by Kasie West, Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

My Plain Jane: A Review

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi MeadowsYou might think you know Jane Eyre’s story: her childhood privation, her governess position at Thornfield Hall, and her immediate attraction to the dark and brooding Mr. Rochester. You’d be wrong. Mostly because you haven’t heard about the ghosts. Don’t worry, though, My Plain Jane (2018) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows has you covered.

This standalone alternate history novel inserts teenage aspiring author Charlotte Brontë into the world of her own making (with the addition of ghosts) as she chronicles the life of her best friend at Lowood, Jane Eyre, as inspiration for her first novel about the life of one “Jane Frere.”

Charlotte’s authorial ambitions and Jane’s plans to become a governess are thwarted when Jane’s ability to see ghosts comes to the attention of Alexander Blackwood, an agent for the once prestigious Society for the Relocation of Wayward Spirits. Determined to help his mentor restore the Society to its past glory, Alexander is keen to recruit Ms. Eyre as an agent–even if it means taking off his ever-present mask and accepting help from the overly eager Ms. Brontë and her screw up brother. This simple task spirals into a madcap story of ghosts, possession, revenge, and murder as Charlotte, Jane, and Alexander must set aside their differences to solve the mysteries of Thornfield Hall, help the Society (and the ghosts), and maybe even save the king of England in the process.

Narrated by Charlotte, Jane, and Alexander in alternating chapters My Plain Jane uses Jane Eyre as a loose framework for the plot which is populated with familiar characters from both the classic novel and history as well as numerous Easter eggs including a likely explanation for the origins of Charlotte’s chosen pen name and excerpts from Jane Eyre as seen in Charlotte’s trusty notebook.

My Plain Jane blends fact with fiction in a humorous story that offers a gentler and more hopeful outcome for Charlotte and her siblings along with a more plausible ending for anyone who ever wondered why Jane Eyre would marry a man twice her age after his first wife is discovered in the attic. A must-read for fans of My Lady Jane or Jane Eyre and a fun alternative for fans of paranormal romances.

Possible Pairings: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas, Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevemer

*A more condensed version of this review was published the March 2018 issue of School Library Journal as a starred review*

Week in Review: July 21

missprintweekreviewThis week on the blog you can check out:

I know I wasn’t a fan of last week but . . . this week wasn’t great either. The highlights were working a split shift to check out a publisher preview and having a three day weekend. I’m so done with July.

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

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What keeps you going on a bad day? ▪️ The only good thing about yesterday was this #bookmail. While I am the only person alive who didn’t love Uprooted I am excited to see Novik’s take on Rumpelstiltskin. I am always here for fairytale retellings and I love that the (signed!) book came with a coin and the reading experience bookmark. ▪️ Thanks to the great @uppercasebox model I also was able to add this Invictus quote bookmark from last month. Invictus is a favorite poem and I’m so happy to have it. ▪️ #instabooks #amreading #instareads #bookgram #bookworm #bookblogging #bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #booklove #bookphotography #instabook #reading #reader #booktography #bookstagram #igreads #booksofinstagram #goodreads #bookaholic #bookish #bookishfeature #bookstafeatures #bookstagramfeature #readersofinstagram #unitedbookstagram #uppercasebox #naominovik #spinningsilver

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I’m hosting a reading challenge next month. Will you join me? ▪️ Details: #missprintbookaday will be happening from August 25 to August 31. -read a book a day for as many times as you like during that period. -share about it on social media of your choice with the hashtag. -conquer your tbr! ▪️ I’ll be posting more about this closer to the date here, on twitter, and on my blog (link in bio)! ▪️ Let me know if you’ll be joining in the comments and tell me if you can identify this naked hardcover! ▪️ #instabooks #currentlyreading #amreading #instareads #bookgram #bookworm #bookblogging #bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #booklove #bookphotography #instabook #reading #reader #booktography #bookstagram #igreads #booksofinstagram #goodreads #bookaholic #bookish #bookishfeature #bookstafeatures #bookstagramfeature #readersofinstagram #unitedbookstagram #fairyloot #mysterybook

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How was your week? What are you reading?