Thursday, July 31, 2014

Every Day, by David Levithan

(4/5 stars)

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Everyone and their mother was telling me to read this book... literally everyone. The premise intrigued me, yes, but it was people's love for this book that made me pick it up. 

What I liked: Wow, David Levithan sure can write. That's even an understatement. Somehow, even though A changes bodies every day, A is still a strong character with a set personality. The voice is clear and consistent, but still takes on something different with each body A inhabits. It was full of beautiful sentences and life talks that were inspiring to say the least. I loved the message behind the story: it was all about falling in love and being yourself--super precious. 

What I didn't like: My only problem with this book is that I had so.many.questions. How did A get like this? Why does it happen? If there are others, where are they? There are so many unanswered questions that I've been racking my brain over. 

I'm just really glad I read this one, everyone was totally right about it. It sticks with you. I want everyone to read it, and then we can all talk about it for days. 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sci-Fi November is back!

Last year, I participated in Rinn Reads' Sci-Fi November event and it was probably one of my favorite blog-related things I did in 2013! I made some new friends, learned a lot about the genre, and got so many book recommendations it was ridiculous.

So, what is Sci-Fi November? Only an awesome celebration of all things science fiction. Basically, a bunch of great bloggers post different reviews, interviews, giveaways, etc. that relate to sci-fi, and it's happening again this year! Don't contain your excitement, feel free to let it all out!

For this year, Rinn is teaming up with the lovely ladies at Oh, the Books! to make the event even bigger than last year. Woah. I'm looking forward to participating again this year, but I need your help to do it.

Here's where you come in: Since we still have a couple months before the event, I have plenty of time to brainstorm ideas for some awesome sci-fi posts that you guys are going to like. But, I'm super open to suggestions. That means, if there's some YA sci-fi book that you'd like to see me review, let me know. If there's an author you want me to interview, tell me about it and I'll see what I can arrange. If there's a sci-fi tv show that you want me to watch, I'll give it a try and write a post. I want you to have some control over what you see on my blog.

This is going to be such a great November, I can already tell. If you're dying to participate in Sci-Fi November, here's all the information you need to do that. It's going to be super fun, and it's such a great opportunity to connect with other sci-fi fans. Mark your calendars, November's only a couple months away!


P.S. But really, YA sci-fi book recs are what I live for! *makes grabby hands*

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, by Jennifer E. Smith

(4/5 stars)
(also, I really love this cover!)

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Why did this book make me so emotional at one o'clock in the morning? I was not expecting that, but it totally happened. I just love the idea of this book--meeting someone at the airport who you have a connection (no pun intended) with and that seals your destiny. I'd be lying if I said I never hoped for that every time I travel!

What I liked: So besides the premise, I loved the relationship between Hadley and Oliver. Even though it progresses quickly, it still feels completely natural and real. They have adorable banter and the chemistry is ridiculous (the good ridiculous). But, the thing that had me on the verge of tears was the father-daughter relationship. The emotions behind it all were completely warranted, but I liked how Hadley was able to grow up and try to forgive her dad. That was a great character arc for her, helping her grow, and I loved her for that. I'm also obsessed with the fact that Hadley just kind of takes off in London to try to find Oliver and then (Spoiler) successfully finds him against all odds--that's precious. 

What I didn't like: There were too many flashbacks for my taste that were in weird spots of the story. I know that we needed some background on certain situations for the story to work, but the placing of said background threw me off. It took me out of the moment, and I only glanced over those scenes... Oops...

Anyway, this is a lovely story about falling in love and growing up and if you're anything like me, you'll get a bit teary eyed at parts and then squeal out of adorableness at others. It's fun, it's quick, but it'll stick with you. 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Assassin's Blade, by Sarah J. Maas

(5/5 stars)

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

Let me start by saying that I seem to not be able to give anything written by Sarah J. Maas anything but 5 stars--guys, she's that good. I don't know what I was expecting in this set of novellas that prequel Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, but sweet baby Jesus those stories gave me far too many feelings. 

What I liked: Sam Cortland. Oh Sam Cortland, I wasn't supposed to like you but I did. I liked you so much. You made my feelings for Chaol really complicated and I don't know what I'm supposed to think anymore and life is hard. I also really loved seeing Celaena before everything that went down in Throne of Glass. She's still the character that we love so much but now we know why she is the way she is. We get to see the hardships she faced, along with the heartbreak, and the struggles that defined her past. By learning so much about her, she becomes even more real to readers. It also gives us more information about the world and the kingdom--all things that are probably going to be super important in Heir of Fire (which by the way, I'm so increadibly excited for!!!!!). 

What I didn't like: There weren't enough novellas in the collection? I don't know, as per usual, I loved everything. Though, I would have liked to get a teeny tiny glimpse of Chaol or Dorian (though there was a lovely mention to the Captain of the Guard so there it is). Now, maybe it's just me, but I feel like Sam's death was a little open ended. Sure, we saw a body, but was it really Sam? Yes, I went there and I'm not sorry. I have theories... But maybe that shouldn't be classified under things that I didn't like about the novellas. 

More beautiful writing by Sarah J. Maas is always enough to brighten any day--even if the material is heartbreakingly painful. If you've read the series, you must read these wonderful novellas, especially if you're like me and are slowly counting down the days until Heir of Fire is released!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Insignia, by S.J. Kincaid

(4/5 stars)

The earth is in the middle of WWIII in Insignia, the first entry in S. J. Kincaid's fast-paced sci-fi adventure trilogy perfect for fans of Ender's Game.

The planet's natural resources are almost gone, and war is being fought to control the assets of the solar system. The enemy is winning. The salvation may be Tom Raines. Tom doesn't seem like a hero. He's a short fourteen-year-old with bad skin. But he has the virtual-reality gaming skills that make him a phenom behind the controls of the battle drones.

As a new member of the Intrasolar Forces, Tom's life completely changes. Suddenly, he's someone important. He has new opportunities, friends, and a shot at having a girlfriend. But there's a price to pay...

There is so much wonderfulness going on in this book that I can't contain my geeky excitement. First off: sci-fi, sci-fi, SCI-FI! This is an awesome Sci-fi, action packed, dystopian book. Very Ender's Game-esque with it's own unique twist. 

What I liked: There were lots of ups and downs and shocking character twists that kept me on my toes the entire time I was reading it. I never felt like time was being wasted--every second seemed to count and fly by. The technology is my favorite thing in this book. The idea of a neural processor implanted into your brain full of top secret information, unlimited intelligence, and a million potential simulations is equal parts terrifying and so cool that my inner nerd is geeking out and hoping it could be possible someday. Let's see, I also LOVED the female characters--it's hard to pick a favorite. Wyatt is awesome. She goes from super socially awkward and technologically savvy to a little less socially awkward and super technological genius status. Plus, her awkward crush on Tom is precious and awkward (I've used that word so many times but it just really fits her character, y'know?) And bless his heart, Yuri, though basically a character whose purpose is solely for comical relief wins my attachments in all forms. 

What I didn't like: To me, the first one-hundred pages was info-dump after info-dump, making it really hard to read. I understand that the world had to be set up and explained, but it was daunting to get through. I also had a couple problems with our main character, Tom. He was selfish, reckless, a little bit annoying and he acted too much like... well, an immature fourteen year old boy. There were times when I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake some sense into him. Hopefully, he'll mature more as the series goes on. 

I cannot wait to see where this series is going to go, especially considering how Insignia ended. Somebody get me the next book, stat!