The ABC Book Challenge: hail to the Kingdoms!

I haven’t done this challenge in AGES! However, I promised I would see this through to the end and I keep my promises. So this challenge is back and we are continuing on with the letter “K”.

Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “K”:

Honestly, this is the first time I cannot find any books I’ve read that fit starting with the letter “k” just strictly with the letter “k” and that are also memorable. I’d read one book way back when called Kissed by an Angel and I didn’t even like it. So as far as this goes. This is my first failure. In my defense the letter K is kinda hard to come by as the very first letter in a title. I just haven’t read any good books with this letter.

Books I’d love to read starting with the letter “K”:

Kingdom of Ash

I’m not using the description here, because I don’t want any spoilers. However, this book is one I definitely want to read and badly! I’ve really enjoyed the Throne of Glass series and this book sounds like it’s going to be no exception.

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix

I own Forest of a Thousand Lanterns and I can’t wait to read it! I know I’m going to love both books in this series! Again I’m not including the description as this is a second book and I haven’t read either yet.

Thanks for reading! This was short, but took me forever to do, because I didn’t expect not having read a memorable book starting with “K”. It was pretty shocking. Have you read a memorable book starting with “K”? Let me know down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

Freshmen: A Review

Freshmen by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison

My Rating: 2/5 Stars

Cover Rating: 7/10 Stars! The cover for this is super cute and why I chose to read this book in the first place. The cover made me feel like this would be a warm novel about experiences in the first year of college and falling in love.. which to say is very loosely what I got, but I wouldn’t call it warm.

Publisher: Random House Children’s

Publish Date: June 12th, 2018

Number of Pages: 367 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Uni beckons. Phoebe can’t wait to be a fresher – especially since her crush from school will be there too. She’ll be totally different at Uni: cooler, prettier, smarter … the perfect potential girlfriend. She’ll reinvent herself completely. But Luke’s oblivious, still reeling from the fallout of the break-up with his ex. Thrown head first into a world of new friends, parties and social media disasters – can Phoebe and Luke survive the year, let alone find each other?

Opening Sentence: “I was doing my best to focus on what Arthur was saying, but the buzzing in my pocket kept distracting me.”

Musings:

So, as you can see by my rating that I disliked this book. It wasn’t that it was “bad” per day, but it really was not my cup of tea… especially not in book form. The reviews for this book have been generally positive, but for me I just couldn’t bring myself to like it or even really care about any of the characters involved. It was like a crazy weird dream that you don’t care to remember.

My Reasoning:

Too much drama. I like a good drama story, but this was a LOT of drama and it was so back to back with too many characters involved that I felt like I had no idea about what was going on. Who has beef with who and why it even mattered.

A lot of unnecessary writing. I feel like so much of the random conversation and things could have been cut out of this book. I found myself skimming a lot, because it was a lot of overwrought stuff that I didn’t want to know and didn’t add anything to the story.

I could not keep names straight. One thing this book got right was the confusion of being a college freshman. Especially, if you are like me.. who is terrible with names. I could see that the authors tried to help this out a bit by using adjectives and other things to help you remember, but it was still too much. Every so often I would think Josh who? or is this the guy that did this or was it the other guy? I don’t remember!!

A lot of the story became forgettable. Because my brain was in the constant state of confusion that it was, I could not for the life of me remember much of the subplots, or why some characters were mad at each other, or who liked who. It was so bad that I kinda gave up on trying to keep things straight.

I laughed maybe twice. This is pitched as a laugh out loud kind of book and I only laughed a little while reading it. A lot of it wasn’t my kind of humor (which is odd because I love Melissa McCarthy and the movie she was in recently ‘Life if the party” which took place on a college campus). I guess this is why ‘mean girls’ would never be my cup of tea.

The problematic stuff was handled in a good way. This isn’t a critique. It is one of the things I appreciated about this novel. A lot of the parts that showed some of the backwards mentalities of some college students were handled in a way that showed that those things weren’t ok and should never be condoned. I also liked the way the relationship between Phoebe and Luke ended.

All in All:

I’m not going to say that Freshmen is a bad book. It’s a decent story and I know a lot of people who live for this kind of thing. Freshman is the opposite of what my taste in book is.

About the Authors:

Co-authors of the hilariously funny novels Lobsters and Never Evers, Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison met in the sixth form and have been friends ever since.

Lucy is a school librarian at a girls school in central London where she gets most of her inspiration.

Tom is a journalist and has written for ShortList, Time Out, Vice, talkSPORT, ESPN and Viz.

Their new YA novel, Freshers, published to critical acclaim in August 2017.

Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on Freshmen?

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-Till next time!

Run Away With Me: A Review

Run Away With Me by Mila Gray

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing

Publish Date: November 28th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Emerson Lowe and popular ice-hockey player Jake McCallister have been best friends since third grade but just as their friendship starts to morph into something more, a terrible event occurs that heralds the end of innocence for both of them. Within a week, Jake’s living on the other side of the country and Emerson is left alone to pick up the pieces of her life in a small town determined to paint her as a liar.

Seven years on and Emerson is still living on the beautiful Pacific West island of Bainbridge, helping her family run their outdoor adventure company. The last thing she needs is Jake turning up, bringing with him old memories and opening up old wounds. But Jake—even better looking than Emerson remembered and on the cusp of a bright sporting future—seems determined to revive their friendship no matter how much Emerson tries to push him away and soon they’re in the midst of a passionate summer romance that neither of them wants to end.

But if they’re to have any kind of future, they’re first going to need to confront the past, a past that most people want to stay buried.

Opening Sentence: “The woods are dark as a grave.”

*Trigger warning for Sexual Abuse*

Musings:

Tropical, steamy, childhood romance fun, “Run Away With Me” is a summery adventure that warmed my heart. It was a very back and forth romance that was both hurt and aided by outside forces that weren’t a part of Jake or Emerson’s control. To see the two finally come together after such a long time was a happy moment even as their would be bumps to endure along the way.

I loved that the novel took place on an island. I also love the touring and working aspects that really set the stage for forces to pull these two long lost loves back together. I enjoyed how real the characters felt and how and why the characters changed. I loved that the author wrote this book for victims of sexual assault and gave Emerson a way of growing from her experience that went beyond just falling in love. I enjoyed how sincere the relationships were and how much love there was between the characters. I also loved the trait that Jake has where he fixes little irritating things without saying a word (honestly was the reason I fell in love with him). There were so many conflicts and individual motivations that the story rang true and it made it all the more fun to read.

Something I also enjoyed were the flashbacks (something that can easily be unenjoyable depending on how they are done). They gave a lot of insight and made me enjoy both Jake’s and Emerson’s characters all the more. Especially with Emerson, I found myself feeling hopelessly sad and filled with the need to protect her from the cruelty she endured. However, her attitude toward what had happened made me awed with her strength and resilience (even when others made it hard for her to believe in her own bravery for so long).

“Run Away With Me” is a novel I won’t soon forget. I admire this novels courage in sharing a story of a girl who is healing from her experience with sexual abuse. As I also adore most of the other characters it contains inside. I’m happy for this books true honesty and i recommend it to those who yearn for a book that rings true.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments.

-Till next time!

The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead: A Review

The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette

My Rating: 1 very sad and lonely star

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Publish Date: September 12th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:

Prom was supposed to be the biggest night of senior year, but for Jenny Lewis it was the night she almost died. The night someone drugged her, loaded her in a car, and dumped her body in the river.

The next morning, her soaked prom dress was found on the riverbank. Her body was never found. People whispered that she’d killed herself or gotten drunk and stupid. People moved on, went to college, and stopped thinking about her. Months later, her ex-girlfriend and three other classmates received a text from an unknown number accusing them of her murder and claiming to have proof.

The text? It came from Jenny, not dead and ready to figure out who tried to kill her. There’s going to be an impromptu reunion and no one is leaving until the would-be murderer steps forward.

Opening Sentence: “One moment Jenny was gazing at the stars.”

Musings:

I’ve never read a book that I honestly hated, but I stuck it out with this book because I kept hoping that it would get better and that if the end was ok I could at least give this 2 stars and call it a day, but this book never got any better and I am here to tell you why.

Different POV’s but same exact story:

There was so many pov’s in this story and they all recalled the exact same night and most of the time in the exact same way with a lot of the exact same word for word conversations. By the time you get to the end you want to scream enough already because you’ve heard the same thing too many times to count just from a slightly different perspective.

Every character is toxic:

There is not one good character in this novel and no one had any redeeming qualities and while it’s ok to have all characters be imperfect there has to be something there to make the reader care about who they are reading about and in this book there was nothing good about anyone.

The narrative itself and the way characters see certain things is toxic:

The whole time I was reading it there were so many instances where I was dumbfounded by how weird/backwards the logic was. Some of the things characters say and think in this book just made me cringe and I truly believe that this is a bad representation of not just lesbians, but people in general.

The diversity in this book was severally negatively represented:

At one point one of the characters says that they could frame one of the other characters who is African American because they would be “Just another Black who went crazy and shot people.” Then the way they kept talking about lesbians being butch and the way the lesbian relationship was portrayed was awful. There were so many red flags in this department and it just made me feel completely uncomfortable.

The outlook on cheating:

The characters cheated in this book an cheated proudly. It was actually shocking how much everyone was always using each other with no repercussions for anyone at any point. All of the going behind each other’s backs was left to be a’okay in the end and I was not ok with that.

The biggest red flag of them all:

*trigger for sexual assault*

At one point there was a girl was drunk and asleep in the bathroom and part of her dress was down and one of the characters molests her and takes pictures all while she is sleeping. While the characters at the end do say this was not ok, the fact that there was no repercussions for that either in the end made me so angry. The characters all stay friends and are all forgiving about everything when something like that should have been handled very differently.

Overall this was an interesting premise with a really bad execution and this book is definitely one I would not recommend in the future. This book is extremely problematic and I am sad that a book I had such high hopes for ended up being as bad as it was.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

-Till next time!

The Ship by Antonia Honeywell: A Review

The Ship by Antonia Honeywell


My Rating: This Book is Wow… 5 stars!

Publisher: Orbit Books

Publish Date: April 25th, 2017

Recieved: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Purchase: Amazon 

Synopsis:

“Powerful, haunting, and beautiful,” (M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts) The Ship is a luminous and genre-defying debut novel that follows a young woman’s coming of age in a world where she has no future. 
London burned for three weeks. And then it got worse…
Lalla has grown up sheltered from the chaos amid the ruins of civilization. But things are getting more dangerous outside. People are killing each other for husks of bread, and the police are detaining anyone without an identification card. On her sixteenth birthday, Lalla’s father decides it’s time to use their escape route–a ship he’s built that is only big enough to save five hundred people.
But the utopia her father has created isn’t everything it appears. There’s more food than anyone can eat, but nothing grows; more clothes than anyone can wear, but no way to mend them; and no-one can tell her where they are going.

Musings: 

The Ship is the epitome of everything I could ever want in a dystopia. The descriptions vibrate in the mind and echo down into the heart and everything connects and becomes something grand at the very end. I gave myself a lot of time reading this book, reading chapters here and there and wondering all the time why I didn’t just read it all in one sitting? Well, I find the answer when I think about what this book is about, starvation, hurt, anger, relief, stagnancy, fear, and the apple. 

Have you ever thought about the privilege of eating an apple? Holding it in your hand smooth skin against you hand and turning it around for just the right place to sink in your teeth. The resistance and sweet taste as juices flow into your mouth and you take another bite and another and another until you reach the core of it. Maybe having bit in too deep ending up with a small arsenic filled black seed on your tounge. All of this and the biggest privilege of all seeing an apple tree in full bloom and weeks pass and there you have it the apple ripe for the picking. That one tree rooted in the ground just to give and give and give. 

This book is like that and it’s something I needed to savor. It is about the apple. It is about desperation, privilege, and the lack there of, even the very definition of what privilege is, but most of all it is about a girl. A girl who lives in a decaying world with a father who used his privilege to build a ship to be humanities final stand, but to quote the essence of the book to live a life of certainty is to live a life without hope and if there is no hope you can never truly live. 

I am in love with this book. I didn’t know for a long time as I was reading it where the story was going or what it would mean to me, but it is a story well-told and to say more would ruin it as you should discover what it means for yourself. The Ship is incredible. Read it as soon as you can. 

Thank you all for reading! I hope you enjoyed this review and that you will check out The Ship as soon as you can! It is a book of great impact and I know it has given me a lot to think about. Let me know what you think down in the comments. 

-Till next time!