I disappeared! Here’s why.

I owe you guys an explanation. I was just getting my blog up and running again, but something happened that made me need to take a quick, unexpected break:

Some of you may have already known I was pregnant, and my due date was May 11. Well, this guy decided he wanted to be an April baby instead and he made his appearance on April 3rd. He was in the NICU for a couple of weeks and then we were able to bring him home. My husband and I were COMPLETELY unprepared (we didn’t even have his crib set up). Luckily we had a little bit of time to get things together while he was in the NICU, but we’re still getting the hang of things with him home.

The next thing that’s happening is that we’re moving for the summer. My husband has an out-of-state internship that we’ll be leaving for soon. So, with the baby and moving, I’m not sure when exactly I’ll have time to start blogging again, but I am planning on coming back! It just might take me a bit. In the mean time, what are you guys reading right now? Let me know in the comments!

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BLOG TOUR: Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody [GIVEAWAY]

Ace of ShadesAce of Shades
by Amanda Foody
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

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SYNOPSIS: Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

REVIEW: This book was giving me major Six of Crows vibes with a little bit of Caraval mixed in. It was honestly kind of hard for me to give up the Six of Crows comparisons which I think took a little away from the enjoyment of the book for me. I kept trying to compare Levi to Kaz and he was just not measuring up. I wanted Levi to be harder and more ruthless, but I can also kind of see why he wasn’t written that way.

Enne as a character was so hard for me to deal with at first. She’s scared of her own shadow, but at the same time she gets mad at Levi when he tells her that she’s going to get robbed or killed if she acts a certain way/goes to a certain part of the city. Sorry Enne, but the guy lives there and I’d believe him. I’m so tired of female protags trying to insist that they know better than the guy who is acting as their guide in a new city. This is something that I feel happens ALL THE TIME and it’s aggravating. After a while, though, I actually did start to really like Enne and I’m definitely on the Enne-train now. The Levi/Enne ship though? Not quite as on board. I’m just not convinced.

Secondary characters were interesting even if we didn’t get very much time with them. I feel like some of them could have been more developed, but the story is told from Enne and Levi’s perspectives so I understand why they weren’t. I hope in future books we get to know them a little bit more though.

The overall world building was pretty good. I was a little confused about some things because they have cars and pay phones? But then they pay for things with what’s called “volts” which are kept in these glass orbs. I just wasn’t exactly sure what kind of technology existed in this world. I feel like the reader needed to learn a little bit more about the world’s history than we were actually given. I really liked the concept of “talents”, though, being passed down by blood and how you can tell what someone’s talent is by their name.

Lastly, I thought the plot was good and well-paced. The hunt for Lourdes lasted an appropriate amount of time and I thought the characters were portrayed as realistically looking for her while also taking the time to do their normal every day duties like, you know, working and sleeping. I especially thought the ending was well-paced. A lot of times I get to the end of the book and I feel like 50 million things happen within two chapters. That did not happen in this book. I thought the Shadow Game was SO INTERESTING and felt like it was given the appropriate amount of time.

Overall, I think I would have liked this book a little more if I hadn’t already read Six of Crows, but I still quite liked it. I’m not sure what direction this series is going to take (seems like it might dive into the world’s politics?) but I’ll definitely be in line for the next book.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: None
Violence: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Moderate

Ace of Shades Blog Tour

 

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



Amanda FoodyABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.

DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY is her first novel. Her second, ACE OF SHADES, will follow in April 2018.

Website|Goodreads|Twitter|Tumblr|Instagram|Pinterest


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

BOOK VS MOVIE | Ready Player One

Let me start off by saying that I fell in love with Ready Player One from the first time that I read it back in 2011. Then I read it again more recently in 2015 and thought that it still held up really well. Then I made my husband and brothers-in-law read it and they all liked it too.

Some time between my first and second read, it was announced that the book had been optioned for a movie–this was VERY exciting to me. But then years passed and nothing came of it until…something did. When they finally started casting, I was ecstatic and thought that almost all of the actors/actresses casted were perfect (with the exception of Art3mis). When they announced that Spielberg would be directing I thought, “OF COURSE. THIS IS PERFECT.” And then when the first teaser trailer came out, I swear I actually died and came back to life. Needless to say, this weekend when my husband and I went to go see the movie, my expectations were high. Very high.

Well…I liked the book better. But, that’s not to say that I didn’t like the movie too. To be honest, I almost always like the book better than the movie. A lot of the time, I feel like the movie changes or completely omits too many things and that makes me mad. Why did they have to change the story? The book was PERFECT and there was no reason to get rid of that character or change that plot point or whatever.

And then there’s Ready Player One. RPO changed quite a few things from the book while maintaining the overall storyline. Despite all of these changes, I still really enjoyed the movie! I actually understood why things were different from the book–to be honest, it just would not have been as interesting to watch as it was to read. Another big difference is that the movie is not so saturated with 80s pop culture. So if that’s what you love from the book, you’ll be disappointed. There are definitely some 80s references, but the movie also references more current pop culture things like Halo and Minecraft (which I actually think is reasonable considering the OASIS is set in the future where all of those things would exist). It’s just not quite so much of an homage to the 80s as the book is.

Overall, the movie was good–a little slower than I expected? But still good. Depending on why you like the book, you may or may not like the movie, but I would still recommend it.

Have you guys seen Ready Player One yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Blog posts to share | March 2018

Here are some of my favorite blog posts from other bloggers for the month. Enjoy!

Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm talked about staying motivated to read – I definitely have periods of my life where I read less than others. Sometimes I get home from work and all I want to do is eat, watch Netflix, and then go to bed. And that’s okay! It’s okay if I don’t read every day, because I know that some days I will literally spend 6 hours reading.

Angelica @ The Book Cover Girl discussed how YA is moving away from the trilogy to other formats This is definitely something that I’d noticed. For the most part, I agree with what she’s saying and I definitely agree that the duology is underrated. I also think that single books are underrated, but that might just be me.

Jess @ Reads and Dreams reconsidered some books that she had previously DNF’d – This is something that I definitely need to look into doing as well. It’s hard because I already have so many other books that I want to read, but I think it’s worth doing every once in a while. Sometimes you start a book and it’s just not the right time for YOU even though the book might actually be great.

Savannah @ The Book Prophet talked about why she likes reading negative reviews I wholeheartedly agree here. I LOVE reading negative reviews. For some reason, those reviews just feel more honest to me and it’s always fun when you’ve got an unpopular opinion about something and find someone else who shares it. I also like reading negative reviews when I’ve really enjoyed a book because a) Sometimes it opens my mind to things that I hadn’t considered before, b) Sometimes I just have an argument with the reviewer in my head.

Cristina @ Girl in the Pages gave some non-traditional advice for getting into audio books – Again, my struggle with audio books. This post really got me thinking about how I choose to listen to audio books and which books I choose. I already know that I’m very picky when it comes to narrators, but I didn’t even consider that some genres might be better suited for me than others–I just assumed I would listen to the same kind of stuff that I read, but that may not be true.

Kristilyn @ Reading in Winter talked about some reality checks when it comes to blogging – I really loved this post because it’s SO TRUE. I can’t really do it justice, so I’m just going to say GO READ THIS POST. If you’ve ever felt overly pressured as a blogger, you need to read what Kristilyn has to say.

Krysta @ Pages Unbound discussed why she limits the amount of books that she owns – This is similar to the previous post in a lot of ways because I think it tangentially touches on pressures that bloggers have. I think sometimes we think if you don’t have a gorgeous shelfie on your Insta, are you even a real book blogger? The answer is YES. You can still be a great book blogger and not own that many physical books. If you know you’re never going to read a book again, there are so many other places that it can go!

Marty @ The Cursed Books talked about how blogging might be bad for your reading and what we can do about it – This is definitely something that I’ve struggled with and I think she gives some really good advice about dealing with the pressures that blogging brings. The struggle is real!