BLOG TOUR: All the Feels by Danika Stone [GIVEAWAY]

AtFAll the Feels
by Danika Stone
Release Date: June 7th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

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SYNOPSIS: College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.

REVIEW:¬†Anyone who is a part of a fandom will appreciate this book. It’s very reminiscent of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. We have a main character who is just starting college who experiences some social anxiety. In addition, she’s very involved in a fandom and while Cath chooses to write fanfic, Liv contributes to her fandom by vidding. While I feel that Rowell did a little bit better with this storyline, I do appreciate Stone’s take on it as well.

The characters were very interesting to me. I liked that they had some quirks, but they were very confident in them. They weren’t bullied by other characters or made to feel lesser because they like something “weird”. Xander especially seems very confident in himself (which, frankly, seems pretty unrealistic for a 19-year-old boy, but whatever).

There were only a few things that kind of bothered me throughout the book. The first is that Xander just talks really weird. He keeps calling Liv “dearest” even though he has a girlfriend and for some reason that just made me really uncomfortable. The fact that he talks¬†more like a BBC character when he gets distressed also seems really unrealistic. Secondly, Xander’s relationship with his girlfriend is never really explained. Honestly, she doesn’t seem like his type of girl and he doesn’t seem like his type of guy, but they’re together and apparently pretty happy? But then their relationship just ends and that’s not explained either. Lastly, I don’t completely understand Liv’s motivations at the end of the book either. I don’t want to spoil anything, but she gets some impressions about some people, but then her next actions aren’t really consistent with how she was feeling about them.

Overall, this book was a light, fun read. As I said at the beginning of my review, if you’re part of a fandom I think you’ll really be able to relate to this book.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Moderate for the most part, a couple of scenes with stronger language.
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Mild


AllTheFeelsTourBanner

Click on the picture above to be taken to the giveaway!



DanikaABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (Icarus and All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

The first book in Danika’s upcoming Tathagata series (Edge of Wild) was selected as a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award (2013). Edge of Wild (Stonehouse CA) will be released March 2016. Danika’s YA novel, All the Feels (Macmillan US), will be released June 2016.

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

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Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

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26 Kisses by Anna Michels [ARC]

26 KissesVee’s boyfriend, Mark, broke up with her five minutes after he graduated from high school. He didn’t want to go to college still dating his “high school girlfriend”. As a way to get over him, Vee’s best friend, Mel, proposes that Vee embark on a¬†26 kisses challenge. Over the course of the summer Vee is supposed to kiss one boy for every letter of the alphabet. Vee is hesitant at first, but then begins to embrace the challenge as she slowly starts to forget about Mark. When she meets Killian, however, Vee will have to reevaluate whether or not she wants to keep going with the challenge or if she’s okay stopping on “K”.

On its surface this seems like a very shallow book and it kind of is, but there’s a little more to it than that as well. Vee is a pretty sympathetic character and I didn’t find her to be annoying or too angsty necessarily (though she did have a couple moments…). To be honest, the premise of this book is a little ridiculous. I mean, is it really a good idea to try to kiss 26 different guys in your hometown? Do you really think nobody’s going to notice or start talking about it? Regardless, I understand why she decided to undertake this challenge even if I don’t agree with it. For the most part, I enjoyed Vee’s friendships with Mel, Seth, and Killian. I thought everyone seemed pretty balanced as characters and they each had distinctive personalities. I liked that both Vee and Killian were pretty quirky characters with unique interests. The romance itself was nice. Killian seemed like a nice guy and I’m always happy when our protagonist ends up with a genuinely good guy as opposed to the cliche “bad boy”.

Vee also has a lot of family stuff going on which created a nice break and some contrast to everything else that was going on with her social life. I can’t say I completely understand how Vee feels about her father and his new family, but nothing seemed too unbelievable. I also liked how Michels chose to resolve that subplot.

Overall, I think this book would make a great beach read. It’s not a book¬†that will stick with you for a long time, but it’s fun in the moment.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Moderate. Pretty consistent throughout, but nothing too strong.
Violence: None
Smoking/Drinking: Heavy. Quite a few scenes with underage drinking.
Sexual Content: Mild

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: My Feelings Have Changed

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed (less love, more love, complicated feelings, indifference, thought it was great in a genre until you became more well read in that genre etc.)

You know that episode of¬†How I Met Your Mother where the group is talking about “spoiling” each other on people? And they play that sound clip of glass shattering? That happens to me with books semi-often. I’ll like a book okay, but then I’ll read a bad review of it and it’ll just be like *glass shatters* “Oh yeah…that’s true…” But then there are other times when I don’t appreciate a book until later. That’s a nicer experience.

From Good to Bad

1) Twilight series. These books were great for what they were and I really loved them, but I am officially over them.

2) Divergent series. I don’t know if it’s because of the movies or what, but I don’t love the Divergent series as much as I used to.

3) The Maze Runner series. This one has soured a bit for me just because of the follow-up books. I loved the first one, but then I felt like the rest of the series got kind of weird and I honestly had no idea what was going on. Even right now, I can’t remember how the series ends.

4) Eragon series. This is another one that was ruined by the follow-up books in the series. I remember really liking the first two, but then it took so long for the next two books to come out that I just got tired of the series and never finished. Also, that movie. Awful.

5) Hush, Hush series. This one was from so long ago…I remember liking the first couple of books, but since then I’ve read stuff about how the relationship portrayed really isn’t very healthy and stuff like that. Yikes.

From Good to Better

6) The Looking Glass Wars series. I really liked this series when I read it back in high school but then I haven’t read them since. But every time I look at them on my shelf or think about them, I just feel like they were really ahead of their time and¬†extremely underrated.

7) Harry Potter series. Another series that I greatly enjoyed at the time, but since then the HP mania has increased (I know hard to imagine). I’ve reread the first four books a few times, but I really need to reread the rest of the series. I feel like HP is just something that will continue to grow in popularity indefinitely.

From Bad to Unsure

8) Throne of Glass series. I consciously stopped reading this series after the second book because I just didn’t care for the series anymore (even though I remember really liking the first book). Then I create this blog and find out that everyone loves this series like…A LOT. So now I’m just unsure about my initial conclusion and whether or not I should try this series again.

9) Red Queen. This book was such an eye roll for me and I didn’t particularly like the main character. Once again, though, everyone on the internet seems to be in love with this series so now I’m thinking about at least trying the second book and seeing how I feel after that.

10) Dorothy Must Die.¬†Lastly, one more situation where the hype has me unsure about my initial gut reaction. I found the main character in this book to be EXTREMELY annoying and I thought that the book jacket summary was total click bait. I came into the book anticipating this cool scavenger hunt-esque storyline, but then that part of the plot literally didn’t appear until the last chapter.

 

Summer 2016 Review Train [GIVEAWAY]

Hello Everyone! Summer is almost upon us and that is a very exciting thing. For me, Summer is a time for late night fast food runs, shave ice, Wiffle ball games, homemade ice cream, and (of course) lots of reading! For those wondering, yes, food really¬†does¬†play that big of a role in my life. Anyway, I’m pleased to announce that I will be participating in a fun little Summer celebration with some of my fellow bloggers. Welcome to the Summer 2016 Review Train!

Click the picture above to go to the info page @Space Between the Spines. From that page you can get all of the details on the train with stop dates and everything. There are also a couple of details on a GIVEAWAY that is being hosted ūüėČ

As a little bonus, here’s a list of 20 quotes about summer from books.

Magical Realism at its Finest (The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman)

The Ocean at the End of the LaneI really tried to write a summary for this book, but it’s literally indescribable. Neil Gaiman is a master of language and storytelling and this book makes me want to read ALL THE BOOKS. Gaiman handles child narrators in a way that makes them so much more mature but while still maintaining that innocence that is inherent in children. I say this from my experience with reading The Graveyard Book as well as this one. Our narrator in this book is so serious but is still just a child (I think he’s 7?) and has moments where he acts like one. I love that he loves to read books and maybe that’s why he reacts the way he does. All of these magical things are happening around him, and he kind of just accepts it. There are a few times when he tries to make sense of things, but in the end he’s just like, “Yeah, sure, that’s how it is. Of course.” He’s just so ready to believe in the Hempstock’s magic.

I also love the way that Gaiman uses the setting in his book. His descriptions are so vivid and it¬†just¬†makes the whole story so real. What’s actually based on real life and what’s fiction? It’s really hard to tell in this book. The food descriptions were also unreal. I just wanted to transport myself to the Hempstock’s kitchen table because those meals sounded AMAZING.¬†The characters were fantastic as well. I loved the way that our narrator’s perception of the Hempstock women changed as he grew older. I also loved the characterization in general. Each character felt like an individual with a past and a future–no cardboard cutouts here.

Despite the fact that this book (for the most part) has a child narrator, this book is for adults. It deals with some heavier topics (such as suicide and adultery) and contains some scenes that may be disturbing for younger children. That being said, since the story is being narrated by a young boy, he sees some things that he doesn’t quite understand. So if a younger reader were to get their hands on this book, a lot of things may go over their head since descriptions aren’t very explicit.

Overall, I thought this book was absolutely magical. I loved the characters, I loved the setting, I loved the story. I would DEFINITELY recommend this one.

Overall Rating: 5
Language: Mild
Violence: Moderate (some of this is magical violence)
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Moderate

Buzz Books 2016: Young Adult Fall/Winter (Part 2)

Buzz Books 2016 Fall/Winter

NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the last 10 books featured (click here for my thoughts on the first 10). Again, covers link to Goodreads.

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (1/2017)

The Edge of EverythingCover:¬†The title itself makes it seem like it could be a nice contemporary romance, but then the cover makes it seem like it’s going to be a post-apocalyptic story. Overall, I think the title looks pretty cool, but I’m not a fan of the look in general. 3/10

Premise: Ugh. I don’t know what to think of this book. Does the premise sound promising? Not especially. It seems like just another “ordinary girl meets extraordinary boy then they fall in love” thing. 3/10

Excerpt: The writing itself is okay, but nothing happened in the excerpt that made me go, “Oh my gosh I NEED to finish reading this.” 4/10

TBR?: No

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (9/6)

Girl in PiecesCover: Basically this book seems like it’s going to be dealing with a mental illness or rape or something else really difficult for a high school girl. It does not seem like this is going to be a happy book. The cover is very minimalist which I kind of like, but kind of disturbing too. 6/10

Premise: Yeah…so from the summary it sounds like she’s¬†dealing with depression by cutting. Can’t tell at the point whether there will be a boy involved or any sort of a romance. This seems like it could be a pretty heavy book. Personally, that makes me less interested in it. 4/10

Excerpt: The writing seems pretty excellent, but despite that, I’m still not interested in the subject matter. Perhaps interested isn’t quite the right word, but…hopefully you know what I mean. I can also tell just from this excerpt that there will probably be a lot of language throughout the book. 5/10

TBR?: No

One Half From the East by Nadia Hashimi (9/6)

One Half From the EastCover: Just from the cover, I would probably place this book in Middle Grade territory. Honestly, it makes me think of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, but I assume it’s not as sad. 4/10

Premise: Since this book is Middle Grade, I think it will ultimately have a happy ending. That being said, the summary makes me think of a movie that I watched (probably in school) that did not end well. I think this book will probably be pretty meaningful, though, and I think the relationship between the two girls will really be something special. 5/10

Excerpt: I think this will be a good book for those in the target age range to read. It seems to show a lot from Afghani culture which I think is a really good thing. In the end, I think the book is just a little too young for me personally. 6/10

TBR?: No

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (8/30)

The Thousandth FloorCover: I have no idea what to think about this book based on the cover. Maybe something to do with death and heaven? But then again, maybe not. I’m kind of intrigued, but I don’t think the cover alone would make me pick the book up off of a shelf. I do like the font used for the title though, that “H” especially. 5/10

Premise: This seems like it could be a cool futuristic Gossip Girl-esque kind of book. It promises to have a lot of drama, but I’m usually hesitant to get into books that are super futuristic. A lot of the time I just find them unrealistic (even for the future). 7/10

Excerpt: It seems like there’s going to be a very interesting cast of characters. I definitely think I’d want to read more. 8/10

TBR?: Yes

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis (9/20)

The Female of the SpeciesCover: Again, hard to tell what this one’s going to be about, but it looks like it has the potential to be a contemporary romance. Or maybe a female anthem of some kind. I just don’t like the main color, though I do like that the girl stands out. 7/10

Premise: I don’t know about this one.”Popular boy notices loner/outcast girl” isn’t a new idea, but it seems like the characters could be pretty complex. I think it has potential to be good, but it also has the potential to fall flat on its face. 6/10

Excerpt: This book seems pretty dark, but like I said, the characters could be interesting. The writing isn’t anything stellar, but it’s not bad either. 6/10

TBR?:¬†Yes, unless I start to hear that people don’t like it.

Replica by Lauren Oliver (10/4)

ReplicaCover: The cover itself is nice but gives zero indication of what it’s going to be about. A notable thing about this book is that it’s a flip book. Read one half, then flip the book and read the other half of the story from another perspective. Or you could read one chapter and then one chapter. Honestly, I kind of hate that idea. I would rather just have the author give it to me in the order that she wants me to read it. 5/10

Premise: This book just seems like a lot of work to read… 3/10

Excerpt: Right off the bat, Lyra seems extremely helpless and I’m kind of tired of reading about helpless girls. Gemma too doesn’t seem all that dynamic. The reader feels sympathy for her, sure, but I’m not confident that she’ll be able to do anything to change her circumstances. 5/10

TBR?: Probably not

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter (9/20)

Vassa in the NightCover: I really like this cover. It looks magical and is very reminiscent of The Night Circus (maybe a little too reminiscent…). Regardless, I would definitely pick this book up off of the shelf. 9/10

Premise: Ummm…okay… What? This is like an alternate Brooklyn that maybe is also a fairytale retelling? Overall I’m just kind of confused. I feel like this book has a lot of different ideas going on and I’m not sure how they’re going to all come together. 6/10

Excerpt: This book is definitely interesting. It’s a little confusing at first, but I think I understand the world a little better now after reading for a bit. The characters seem interesting and like they’ll have depth to them.

TBR?: Yes

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti (1/3/17)The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

Cover: Definitely an interesting cover. It’s pretty simple and I like it. 9/10

Premise: This book seems like it might be dealing with a character that has some kind of mental illness (maybe?). Honestly, I’m a little creeped out by our main character just from the summary. I’m not sure how she’ll come across in the book though. 5/10

Excerpt: The narrator is pretty unique as far as YA narrators go. She seems kind of snarky but also kind of dimwitted at the same time? It’s kind of hard to explain. I’m on the fence about whether or not I’d like to read a whole book with this narrator. I’m also still on the fence about whether or not she’s going to creep me out.

TBR?: Maybe, I’ll have to see what other people say first.

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist (1/17/17)

Love and First SightCover: No final cover for this one yet, but I like where it’s going.

Premise: This book sounds interesting! I’ve only read one other YA book featuring a blind main character so I’d definitely be interested in reading another perspective. It also sounds like it’s going to deal with some deeper topics that might be good to read about as well. 8/10

Excerpt: The narrator seems pleasant and not annoying. The other characters seem like they’ll be interesting as well. Overall, this book seems like the events could have really happened. 7/10

TBR?: Yes

Frazzled by Booki Vivat (9/27)

FrazzledCover: The cover makes this book seem really young–probably another one for Middle Grade. It reminds me a little bit of Lizzie McGuire. 4/10

Premise: Definitely Middle Grade. I appreciate that the main character seems to be Asian–but just from her description (dramatic and a natural tendency to freak out) I’m not sure that I would have enjoyed this book even when I was reading Middle Grade books. I do like that the book includes doodles and other drawings though. 3/10

Excerpt: Okay, now that I’ve read the excerpt I think I actually would have liked this book as a Middle Grade reader. I mean, I’m a middle child too and I can also attest to the fact that it’s the worst! That being said, I thought this book started off really well, but I think it’s just a little too young for me. 7/10

TBR?: No

Nerdy Enemies Fall in Love (The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson [ARC])

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is YouIt’s senior year and Trixie is determined to graduate number three in her class. She would aim higher, but there’s no way she can possible compete with the students in slot one and two–so number three it is. The only thing standing in her way is Ben West and his mustache. Trixie and Ben have been battling through the rankings for years and she’s not about to let him have the final say. Unfortunately, this is the year that Trixie’s best friend and Ben’s best friend start dating so they’re forced to hang out with each other. This is when Trixie starts to realize that she and Ben have more in common than she thought.

I love the fact that all of the characters in this book are super smart. They go to an exclusive private school where you have to take this extreme entrance exam to get in. At the beginning there’s this one line where one of the jocks knocks into a character and says, “Nerd” and one of the other characters says something like, “This is a school for the gifted. We’re¬†all¬†nerds.” I don’t know why, I just really liked that. It’s kind of how I imagine going to a school like Stanford, MIT, or Harvard would be like. You can just look around at everyone on campus and know that they must be¬†super smart to be there.

Trixie was hard for me to stomach at times. She’s this really abrasive character and I find myself disliking her. She and Ben have this banter that goes back and forth and while he says some pretty mean things to her, she says some¬†really¬†mean things back. It also always feels like she’s the instigator of all of their confrontations. Overall, it just felt like she was this huge bully. Can’t you compete for rank without being so hostile towards each other?

Overall the plot was pretty good (I like that there was a little bit of a mystery to be solved) and the characters were pretty varied which was nice. I liked all of the fandoms that played a part in the book. In addition, it’s always nice to have super smart characters who aren’t socially inept.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Mild

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.