24 Best Book Deals for 4/13/19 : Yes Please, It’s Not Like It’s a Secret, Wild Beauty, Feminist Fight Club, and more

You guys might have noticed (or not) but I’ve been MIA for a little over a week now. My personal life has pretty much just exploded and I’ve been crazy busy (I’ve barely even had time to read let alone blog). I’m hoping to get back in the groove of things soon, but it might not happen until April’s over. Until then, here are some book deals.

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Free

Ella, the Slayer by A.W. Exley

Less than $1

Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Series #1) by Roshani Chokshi

I’ll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Less than $2

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Get It Together, Delilah! by Erin Gough

Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Denial: Holocaust History on Trial by Deborah E. Lipstadt

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura

Less than $3

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Loves, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Less than $4

I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson

Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett


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What do they call a road trip in space? | Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray [ARC]

Defy the StarsNoemi is determined to save the planet Genesis even if it means sacrificing her own life to do so. But when she finds out there might be another way to save her home planet, she’s willing to travel all around the galaxy to make it happen. In this scenario, the only sacrifice would be a mech that she found aboard an abandoned ship. She’d almost feel bad about it, but mechs aren’t human and don’t have opinions or feelings¬†anyway, right?

I’m starting to think that sci-fi might not be my genre. I either find it really confusing or the explanations of the technology is too boring. I just have a hard time when there’s all this future technology that I don’t really understand. On top of that, this book has multiple WORLDS that I need to try to understand. It’s not easy, I’ll tell you that. I felt like I got a pretty good handle on Earth (obviously), Genesis, and Kismet, but then Stronghold and Cray are toss-ups. I have no idea which world is which. Overall, I wish that there had been a little more world(s) building. Gray had such a huge opportunity to create these awesome new planets, but in the end I feel like I didn’t really get a sense of “there-ness” for any of them. They might as well have been all one planet. Also, I wish the characters had actually gone to Kismet instead of just landing on its moon. That almost felt like a cop-out to me. Like the author didn’t really want to go into all the detail that Kismet would require so she just said, “Here, I’ll have them go to this more boring place instead.”

Noemi was okay as a character. I didn’t hate her, but I didn’t love her either. I don’t really feel like we got to know her that well. We get some of her background, but it’s more telling rather than showing. I didn’t¬†feel anything about her history. Like, I felt bad that she’d lost her whole family, but it didn’t feel like something tragic in her backstory even though it was. Does that even make sense? I did like the religious aspect of her character though, it gave her a little more depth. Abel was a little more interesting. There were times when you could almost forget that he’s a mech (basically a robot) but at the same time, you never really could. There were times throughout the book when his abilities were a little too convenient. Oh, the characters are in a bind? Luckily Abel can do this thing and get them out of it! I mean…everything that he did was plausible with who his character was, but still…too convenient. And I thought all the details about how he’s programmed to be really good at sex was weird and unnecessary to ANY aspect of the plot. Honestly, it just made me feel super uncomfortable every time he brought it up. Secondary characters were alright. They were really just there to help the main characters keep the plot moving.

The relationship between Abel and Noemi just seemed so obvious and contrived. Like…of COURSE they’re going to fall in love. Never mind that Abel is NOT HUMAN. Here’s the thing. I always have a really hard time when a human girl falls in love with an alien, a being who is technically hundreds of years older than her, or robots. Basically anything that isn’t really human. It just feels so weird to me! Like…we wouldn’t have a YA book where a human girl falls in love with a dog, right? So what makes these other non-human love interests okay? In my opinion, nothing. Nothing makes it okay. I’m still creeped out. WHY COULDN’T THEY HAVE JUST BEEN FRIENDS???

Overall, I thought this book was just okay. It was really slow for me to get into, but once I was about halfway through the pace really started to speed up and I finished the last half fairly quickly. It looks like this is going to be a series though and I just don’t see myself having the motivation to pick up the next book even though I wouldn’t necessarily mind finding out what happens next. But if you’re already into sci-fi, then I think you might like this book.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: None
Violence: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking: None
Sexual Content: Moderate. No actual sexual encounters, but it is mentioned openly at times.

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

Catching Up with Some Mini-Reviews

51iectrxgml-_sx336_bo1204203200_Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
I had a really hard time with the beginning of this book. I was just confused and it was a combination of having a hard time remembering how the last book ended and starting in the middle of a bunch of action in this second book. I was just like “Wait, should I be remembering this?” I really liked the first book, but with this one I felt like I was starting to see some cracks in the plot and the world that’s been built that I didn’t notice before. The recap at the beginning of the book felt kind of clumsy and clunky to me. I thought that the end got super intense, but the rest of the book was kind of meh. There were a lot of plot twists and it’s obvious that this book is just a piece of a larger machine. I’ll probably end up continuing with the series (those covers tho…). 3/5


Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca21825486

I felt like this book had a lot of potential, but didn’t end up living up to it. There was minimal character development and I didn’t find myself particularly liking or caring about the characters all that much. I didn’t like the idea of David and Kelsey cheating on Violet and Ryan even if it was to be together. I’m really of the opinion that you need to figure out what you want first–you can’t have it both ways in a relationship. I also thought David was just kind of a tease overall! I mean, if he really loved Kelsey he shouldn’t have been thinking about other girls (and then the mess they were in wouldn’t have been as big). Lastly, I just wanted to see more of the family, especially Miranda. Lost opportunity there. 3/5


51fe7mu0bcl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

This is like such a perfect wintery book and it made me crave cupcakes something fierce. First off, I really like when protagonists have interesting hobbies and this one has not one, but TWO: cupcakes and ice skating. There was so much that I really loved about this book. I loved reading about the diner and that kind of life. I know it’s hard work, but books always make it sound really fun and fulfilling. I also really liked the relationship between Hudson and Bug (are we ever told his real name?). I love reading about really positive sibling relationships, but I do have to ask whether the “older sister/younger brother who is smarter than his age” trope is overused? The last thing I’ll say is that I’m really tired of reading about girls who let boys get in the way of their friendship. I just want to read about some good, strong, positive girl-girl friendships, you know? 4/5


The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh18798983

Initially I didn’t have very good feelings towards Shahrzad. I thought she was annoying at times and frankly kind of bratty. Like, sure, your situation isn’t ideal. But come on. You don’t have to be like¬†that. The plot of this book was interesting because I thought I could see where it was going (and I didn’t like it) but it actually ended up going in a different direction. So that was a pleasant surprise. I really started to crave the scenes between Khalid and Shahrzad–I just really like them as a couple. As far as other characters go, Shahrzad’s father is a straight up creep. Seriously. My main critique for this book is just that I felt like the characters were too young for everything. I would have liked them to be just a little older like 20 and 22 instead of 16 and 18. 4/5


17696131The Fine Art of Pretending by Marie Harris

There’s something about the “boy and girl pretending to date but then really falling in love” trope that is so satisfying to me. I honestly don’t know what it is. However, I feel like this book kind of did it wrong. I wrote in my notes, “This book is literally one big eye roll for me. Cliche¬†and shallow with a predictable ending.” I mean, the ending is always predictable in these–it’s written right in the trope–but this one was especially predictable. I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters and I found it really hard to understand their motivations. Aly is so obsessed with how she is perceived by the other sex. Like the only way she’ll feel any self-worth is if boys want to date her. NEWS FLASH: There’s nothing wrong with not dating in high school. And if a boy’s only going to notice you because you’re showing a little more skin than you usually do, he’s not worth it. 2/5


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes15507958

I guess I’ll start at the beginning, but I can’t even with this book. At first I didn’t really like Lou all that much. She’s just a little¬†annoying and seems unrealistically…I don’t want to say dumb, but kind of dumb. What I did like right away is the family dynamic that is portrayed. This really just seemed like a book written about real, normal people. They all had flaws, but they were like…flaws that everyone has. I really, really liked Will and Lou together and I wanted Lou to dump Patrick pretty much from the first scene with him in it. He’s such a tool… I thought this book had some interesting insights into how it must be to live in a wheelchair or to be caring for someone who is–it seems like a¬†really hard life and I have so much respect for anyone who does it. Overall this book made me both sad and mad at times since I knew how it would end (I mean, the title of the sequel kind of gives it away). I know a lot of people have liked the sequel as well, but I choose to believe that this book is just a standalone. I don’t really think it needed any kind of continuation–the ending was very nicely resolved in my opinion. 4/5


18304322Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

I really wanted to like the characters in this book, but it was hard. I appreciate that Willowdean seems to have accepted her body and who she is, but she doesn’t have to be so annoying about it. It’s like she just didn’t have any sympathy for anyone else. She was so focused on herself and what she wanted–it didn’t make her very likable and I understand why Ellen started to distance herself. At the same time, I also didn’t find Ellen all that likable either. Or any of the characters for that matter. I especially didn’t like the girlfriend drama. As mentioned above, I’m tired of boys coming between girlfriends. Let’s just all get along and be supportive of each other, okay? My last issue is the relationship between Bo and Will. I appreciate that Bo likes her and I really do believe that he does, but I feel like it would have been beneficial for the reader to have an understanding of why. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that he shouldn’t like her because of her size–what I’m saying is it almost seems like a gimmick. It doesn’t feel like it should be real because the author didn’t give us any reasoning behind it. I’d feel the same way about other relationships too. In the end, this book had some very solid themes and ideas and had some very inspirational aspects to it as well. 4/5


The Labyrinthians by J.A. Armitage [ARC]41e-ehpzdwl-_uy250_

You guys have all seen those escape rooms popping up all over the place, right? You pay money to get locked in a room, and then you have to solve puzzles to get out–often you’re timed. Well, this book takes that idea to the EXTREME. I liked the idea of it…but I think a novel isn’t the right format exactly. The reader only sees what the author describes to us so there’s no way that the reader can try to solve the puzzles before the protagonists. It casts the reader in a very passive role as opposed to an active one and I found that a lot less enjoyable. The characters themselves are not very developed, but they weren’t really the focus of the book anyway. I thought the relationship that’s developing between Kim and Nate is kind of weird, but also kind of inevitable. Overall, not much of the plot really makes sense (what that heck is going on with Ezra?) but if you enjoy reading about other people solving puzzles, you might enjoy this one. 2/5

Note: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors That I’d Like to Read More From

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:  Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

I can’t think of too many of those off the top of my head, but I’ll also include some authors that I personally have only read one book from but would like to read more (links are to my reviews).

Debut Authors

1) Nicola Yoon – Everything, Everything
2) TA Maclagan – They Call Me Alexandra Gastone
3) Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus


New to Me Authors

4) Ryan Graudin – Wolf by Wolf
5) Tamara Ireland Stone – Every Last Word
6) Ernest Cline – Ready Player One
7) Claudia Gray – A Thousand Pieces of You
8) Liz Czukas – Top Ten Clues¬†You’re Clueless
9) Lindsey Leavitt – Going Vintage
10) Delilah S Dawson – Hit

Day Three: 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge

Last day! One more time…I was tagged by Emily @The Diary of a Bibliophile.¬†Go look at her blog! It’s awesome.

Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

This quote comes from A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.

17234658“Now I know grief is a whetstone. It sharpens all yourlove, all your happiest memories, into blades that tear you apart from within….They say ‘time heals’…what people really mean is that eventually you’ll get used to the pain. You’ll forget who you were without it; you’ll forget what you looked like without your scars.”

I especially love that last part, “you’ll forget what you looked like without your scars.”

Nominations:

A Bit Behind on Books
Aimee @ My Life in Books
Audrey @Forwards and Bookwords

And as a final reminder, feel free to ignore the nomination if you’ve already done it or are just plain not interested!

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Marguerite is the daughter of two brilliant scientists who have not only proven the existence of other dimensions, but have invented a way to travel between them. Soon after this breakthrough, Marguerite’s father is murdered by one of his own research assistants, Paul. Marguerite and Theo, the other research assistant, follow Paul through dimensions seeking to avenge Marguerite’s father’s death. In the midst of this betrayal, Marguerite will have to decide who she can really trust and how far she’ll go for revenge.17234658

First, THAT COVER. It’s stunning and what drew me to the book in the first place. I love it. I feel like I could just study it for hours. Anyway, moving on. This is a book about inter-dimensional travel. Sometimes it might feel like time travel as some dimensions are not as technologically advanced as others, but it is important to remember that the date is always the same no matter what dimension they’re in. I read a review on this book the other day where the reviewer talked about how much they liked the time travel. IT’S NOT TIME TRAVEL. This is such an important point because time travel seems a little blah to me while inter-dimensional travel seems much more clever.

I liked pretty much all of the characters. They all felt complex and real. I like that Theo is portrayed kind of as an anti-hero. He is very protective of Marguerite and throughout the book I wanted to like him, but there was always something in the back of my mind that wouldn’t quite let me. Paul was a little flat for me. Lieutenant Markov was great, but for some reason that didn’t translate into Paul’s character. Which is a little weird now that I think about it since they’re basically the same person. Maybe that was the point? Marguerite was a great character though and I loved her parents and her older sister. In addition to well-developed characters, I thought the quality of the writing was great.

“Now I know grief is a whetstone. It sharpens all your love, all your happiest memories, into blades that tear you apart from within….They say ‘time heals’….What people really mean is that eventually you’ll get used to the pain. You’ll forget who you were without it; you’ll forget what you looked like without your scars.”

There were just some passages that I felt were really beautifully written. “You’ll forget what you looked like without your scars.” So good. I will DEFINITELY be on the lookout for the next book.

Overall Rating: 4
Violence: Mild
Sexual Content: Moderate. One scene in particular, but brief and very non-explicit.
Language: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate. Two scenes of brief drug use and some underage drinking.