Review: Because You Love to Hate Me

So I recently finished “Because You Love To Hate Me”, an anthology of short stories about villiany by some popular YA authors and BookTubers. It took me AGES to get through! I just haven’t had much time to read lately.

Anyway, as with any anthology, I liked some stories much better than others. Before I go into that too much, here is a synopsis from Amazon

becauseIn this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel). Continue reading

Service Review: Book Box Club

A few months ago, I was overloaded on working overtime and I figured I may as well treat myself — I had been wanting a book subscription box for a while, and I was combing instagram eagerly every month to see the books and contents of all the different boxes as they arrived with their subscribers. I eventually decided that Book Box Club was the best pick for me.

First, let me explain a little bit about the subscription service. You can sign up month-to-month, with the option of skipping a month if the theme isn’t for you, or you can buy a subscription block of 3-months, or 6-months.

What drew me to this service is that they don’t stick with a particular genre. They may send out a fantasy book one month, a contemporary one the next, and a historical one next month. I like the variety and I feel like it makes the box more of a surprise.

So, what do they include in their boxes?

Continue reading

Sorry for the hiatus…

I have to apologize for the extremely long and unexpected hiatus. I was hired in a job last year that is in the tourist industry, and as summer is the busiest season, and has us work the longest hours, it was difficult to find time to devote to the blog. I think I have finally balanced life out, though, and am stable (and disciplined) enough to find time to make some posts! I plan on writing posts for all the books that I have missed out on reviewing, so prepare to be overloaded with content soon!

I also attended YALC and intend on writing a post-YALC post, so keep your eyes peeled!

Now, on to new content!

Waiting on Wednesday 27/4/2016

It’s Waiting on Wednesday!

My pick for this week is The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray.

gildedFirst, a synopsis from Amazon:

After growing up on a farm in Virginia, Walthingham Hall in England seems like another world to sixteen-year-old Katherine Randolph. Her new life, filled with the splendor of upper class England in the 1820s, is shattered when she discovers the corpse of her brother George in a lake on the estate-the tragic accidental drowning of a young man, the coroner reports, despite the wound to George’s head.

Katherine is expected to observe the mourning customs and get on with her life, but she can’t accept that her brother’s death was an accident. A bitter poacher prowls the estate, and strange visitors threaten the occupants of the house. There’s a rumor, too, that a wild animal stalks the woods of Walthingham.

Can Katherine retain her sanity long enough to find out the truth? Or will her brother’s killer claim her life, too?

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday 20/4/2016

It’s Waiting on Wednesday again and I’m really excited for the pick this week!!

My WoW choice is…. Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West.

kingdomFirst a synopsis from Amazon:

Building on homages to”Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” Jane Austen s”Emma”and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular and wholly original debut.

Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid, lands in a fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she has elicromancer magic in her blood. Elicromancers are an ancient breed of immortal people, but only two remain in Nissera. Bristal joins the ranks of Brack and Tamarice without knowing that one of them has a dark secret . . . Tamarice is plotting a quest to overthrow the realm s nobility and take charge herself. Together, Bristal and Brack must guard Nissera against her black elicromancy. There are cursed princesses to protect, royal alliances to forge and fierce monsters to battle all with the hope of preserving peace. Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday 13/4/2016

It’s time for Waiting on Wednesday again!

This week I read about a book titled “If I Was Your Girl” by Meredith Russo.

Here’s a synopsis from Amazon:

ifiwasAmanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love? Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday 6/4/2016

It’s Wednesday again! And that means it’s time to feature another great book that is upcoming…

My pick this week is Charlie N. Holmberg’s “Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet”.

magicbmagcsA synopsis from Amazon:

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences. Continue reading

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Okay, another book that was not what I thought!!

I really need to stop imagining things so vividly when I read their synopsis.

So, I mentioned that I got on a RR kick and read a few books of hers in a row. I think I have almost everything now — minus a short story (or two), and I’m saving Carry On for when I have a good few days off in a row.

landlineBefore I dive into this, though, the synopsis from Amazon:

What advice would you give the younger you…and would you listen?

As far as time machines go, a magic telephone is pretty useless. TV writer Georgie McCool can’t actually visit the past; all she can do is call it, and hope it picks up. Is she going crazy or is this a chance to make things right with her husband, Neal?

Maybe she can fix the things in their past that seem unfixable in the present. Maybe this stupid phone is giving her a chance to start over…if that’s what she wants…

A heart-wrenching – and hilarious – take on fate, time, television and true love, Landline asks if two people are ever really on the same path, or whether love just means finding someone who will keep meeting you halfway.

So, I’ll make this clear — this is NOT a YA book. It’s about a woman in her mid-30’s who is faced with the possible break-up of her marriage.

I knew *that* going in. What I didn’t expect was the connection into the past. The synopsis — especially the first line of it — makes it seem like Georgie would be speaking to herself in the past.

She doesn’t.

Let me start from the beginning.

Georgie is a television writer for a somewhat successful show. However, she has been working on a script for a television series that would be HERS. She receives a green light from an interested party and is enthusiastic to throw herself into her project — but it means that she will have to miss Christmas with her husband and children. Her husband, Neil, takes the children to his mother’s house for Christmas and Georgie is left at home wondering if she made the right decision.

Every single time she tries to call her husband, though, she cannot get through to him. His phone is either off, busy, or he’s not in. When she calls from her old landline phone at her mother’s house, though, she speaks to him. But it’s not HER Neil — it’s Neil from when they were dating. So her Neil, but past Neil.

Speaking to past Neil helps her reconnect with why she fell for him in the first place.

It’s very sweet, but very frustrating to go through the situation with Georgie. You identify with her — you sympathize with her — you understand why she wants to have her own series so bad and stop working on the crap series that she’s on, and you understand that she only has this one chance — but you also get so frustrated that she isn’t spending Christmas with her husband and children. (Or maybe it’s just me — I haven’t been able to spend the last two Christmases with my family =( sigh)

A few entertaining things happen along the way — her sister has a crush on the pizza delivery driver and orders pizza all the time, and Georgie’s mother has a pregnant pug who is due to give birth at any moment.

Overall, it was enjoyable. Rowell is an excellent writer and I could definitely sympathize with her characters.

Have you read this book? Did you have the same misconception I did? What did you think?

 

Waiting on Wednesday 30/3/2016

It’s Waiting on Wednesday again!

This week I’m waiting on Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee.

Synopsis from Amazon:

outrunSan Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the ‘bossy’ cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

Breakout author Stacey Lee masterfully crafts another remarkable novel set against a unique historical backdrop. Strong-willed Mercy Wong leads a cast of diverse characters in this extraordinary tale of survival. Continue reading

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

So, I finally visited my local library and picked up a book — The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black! I was so stoked they had it. When I first read the synopsis, it sounded super intriguing — how can you not love a story with a boy in a glass coffin, knights, princes, faeries, and curses?

I have to say, though, that this book was NOT what I thought it was!!!

the-darkest-part-of-the-forest-holly-blackFirst, a synopsis from Amazon:

Near the little town of Fairfold, in the darkest part of the forest, lies a glass casket. Inside the casket lies a sleeping faerie prince that none can rouse. He’s the most fascinating thing Hazel and her brother Ben have ever seen. They dream of waking him – but what happens when dreams come true? In the darkest part of the forest, you must be careful what you wish for…

Pretty straightforward, yeah?

I think because of the whole faerie prince and glass casket thing, it immediately put me in mind of some medieval-type setting. You know the ones — women wearing laced bodices, drawing water from a well — that type of story.

It’s not. Continue reading