Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Top Ten Books I Didn't Think I'd Like, but I Did!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the BookishEach week we will post a new Top Ten list . Everyone is welcome to join. 

This week's topic is:
A Freebie!
TTT is on hiatus until August, so I'll just be doing some freebies to fill it's spot! 
Top Ten Books I Didn't Think I'd Like, but I Did! 

No Good DeedShadow and Bone
Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)I See London, I See France (I See London, I See France, #1)
BangOptimists Die First
#famousFinding Audrey
The Serpent KingYou Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #231 & the Weekly Wrap-Up!

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what all we borrowed, bought, and received for review. It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

From #BooksforTrade: 
There's Someone Inside Your House

Bought: 
Amid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy, #1)

From the library: 
The End of Our StoryAnd Then There Were Four

The Weekly Wrap-Up!

Monday 07/17/17:  Review- Hidden Figures: The Movie
Tuesday 07/18/17: Top 10 Tuesday: Freebie! It's on hiatus until August, so I picked- Top Ten Books on my Backlist I want to Get to! 
Wednesday 07/19/17: Waiting on Wednesday: A Stranger in the House by Shari LaPena
Thursday 07/20/2017:  Review: This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes
Friday 07/21/17: Blog Tour Stop: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly
 Saturday 07/22/17:  Listen Up: Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Me on Instagram: 

My puppy wasn't having the best day and I couldn't figure out why so I spent the entire day upset because I didn't know what was wrong with him. But after work when I got home, I held out a treat for him. He took it tentatively and left behind a tooth. lol He was back to his old antics after that. And then to make it better, I got one of my most anticipated of 2017 that same day. 
 
I was super lucky to find these in my local Wal-Mart! I've been saying for years that they needed to make a coffee fflavored one. Hell if you know me then you know that my favorite way to eat Oreos isn't with milk, but with coffee ice cream lol I'm so happy they combined two of my favorite snacks! 

I took almost the entire summer to FINALLY come up with an actual building storytime for Build a Better world. I ended up doing different variations of the Three Little Pigs and then they made the houses. The kids loved it and I was so excited that they actually liked it! If you were struggling to think of one (instead of the generic Build a Better World by being a "better person" that we've done already) you can use this idea too! 

What went on at your blog this week?!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older


I don't normally talk about the audio books I listen to because most of them are backlist, but I really want to start! So, I'm starting Listen Up to write short reviews on the books that I listen to! 
Audio, 6 parts
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Published by: Arthur A. Levine Books
Read from: June 11-14, 2017
Shadowshaper, #1
Source: Library 
For fans of: Series, 


     Cassandra Clare meets Caribbean legend in SHADOWSHAPER, an action-packed urban fantasy from a bold new talent.
     Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra's near-comatose abuelo begins to say "Lo siento" over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep.... Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.
     Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order's secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick's supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family's past, present, and future.

*MY THOUGHTS*

     I'm not sure why this book didn't originally make it to my TBR. To be honest, I just plucked it off the shelf from the library I work at because I needed something to listen to at my desk while I was planning stuff. Whatever the case may be, I'm glad I decided to listen to it. 
     Sierra is a normal girl who live in Brooklyn and likes to paint. Until a dude from the Walking Dead comes and busts up her friend's party. After running away, she finds out about Shadow Shapers who connect with the living world through different arts. She thinks there's no way that its real. Until she realizes that it's more real than she thinks... 
     What first drew me to this book was the mention of the Caribbean legend. I love finding out things about different cultures and this was right up my alley.I loved finding out new things through Sierra's character and I loved all the rich, culture that was displayed throughout the story.
     Speaking of which, Sierra and her family, Robbie, and everyone just felt so real. I know that's one of the most cliche things to say, but it's true. I really loved the way she was there to I connected to them. As if I was really in their group of friends. From the way they talked to the way they handled their business, they all felt so real and well rounded. 
     I also thought this book was very well written. I started out listening to it in my car, but it got to the point where I had to bring it in to work and listen while I was planning things because I couldn't stop listening to it. And the narrator is Anika Noni Rose so that was even more amazing. And then there were times where she actually sung some parts of the book which made it SO MUCH BETTER. 
     This book was already good, but pair a great story with a great narrator and amazing characters, and you have an absolutely unforgettable book.  I can't believe I waited this long to read this. But now that I have read it, I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. 
Overall, I give this

Friday, July 21, 2017

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

ARC, 228 pages
Release Date: June 18, 2017
Published by: Delacorte Press
Read from: July 19-22, 2017
Stand-alone
Source: Publisher for the Blog Tour
For fans of:  Time travel, Science Fiction, Retellings,  Adventure, YA


     Fans of Dorothy Must Die will love this reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Girl power rules supreme when a modern girl finds herself in the middle of a medieval mess with only her smart mouth and her Olympic-archer aim to get her home.
     Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.
     Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?
     Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

*MY THOUGHTS*

     When I heard there was a Robin Hood re-telling I was just excited. But then I heard it was going to be a Robin Hood re-telling with a female Robin Hood and I was more than super excited. I love r-tellings that make the story their own in some way and I love re-tellings of rare told stories even more, so No Good Deed was right up my alley.
     Ellie Hudson is making her way to the U.S. Olympic team. She must qualify for the team while she's in England. But as she's following someone, she ends up making her way all the way to the Middle Ages. She wants to get back as soon as she can, but there's so much suffering going on in Nottingham and it would be rude not to do all she could to help first. And with that, she finds hersekf falling into the role of the legandary Robin Hood.....
     To say this was a historical fiction book, I actually enjoyed this one. I'm known to DNF them, (and sometimes really early on lol) but this one kept my attention the entire way through. There was a bit of time when it got too heavy with the history, but it was mostly at the beginning so it wasn't that bad.
     Another reason this isnt a typical "Nikki" book is the time travel aspect. I'm not normally a fan of time travel because they're normally either heavy on the history or heavy on the science. I tend to get annoyed with info-dumpy time traveling, but this one wasn't like that at all. She literally just went from one place to the next and I thought that was pretty cool. There wasn't a need to complicate it and for that I was glad.
     However I was not a fan of the plot. There were too many "coincidences." Like her parent's were both professors of history and physics. All the tools she needed to throughly think about time travel and all the people she would know. I guess I would have liked it better had she been thrown into it and just had to survive. That sounds harsh, but it's what I wanted lol
     Although this isn't my typical book, it was still something that I throughly enjoyed. I love finding books that I don't think I'll like and end up liking them. It really helps open my eyes as a reader and tells me not to give up on certain genres.
Overall, I give this

Thursday, July 20, 2017

This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes

e-ARC, 384 pages
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Published by: HarperTeen
Read from: July 15-18, 2017
Stand-alone
Source:  Edelweiss (I received a copy of this book from the Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.) 
For fans of: Contemporary, Romance, Sparkly Covers, DEAR, Realistic Fiction, YA 


     Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened.
     When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.
     As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.
     Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.

*MY THOUGHTS* 

      After reading Girl Against the Universe in two sittings I added this Stokes book without even reading what it was about. Hell I don't think I even got a good look at the cover but I still added it. I had heard this was a little heavier than what she ususally writes, but I didn't mind because it was her. And I was right not to worry because it was still so good. 
     Genevieve Grace awakes from a coma and doesn't remember what put her there at first. As things start to come back, she realizes that there was a crash and her famous boyfriend didn't make it. The other person involved in the accident is the one person who everyone assumed was guilty because of his past. Genevieve starts to realize that maybe their anger to Brad might be misplaced. 
     I really couldn't put this book down. I was reading it in line at the grocery store, at the desk when I was at work, at lunch from work. Just everywhere. I was hooked on wanting to know what Genevieve would do next. I was rooting for her, but then I got mad at her, and then I was happy with her again. I was all over the place with my feelings for her character and that's how I knew I loved the book. Whenever I can feel so much for them, I know that it's something I love.
     I also really love Stokes' way for words. Her writing style always sweeps me away to wherever the book is set. And this one is set in the beautiful state of Utah. I've never been, but from this book I imagined being at the park where she volunteered and seeing all the cliffs and different views that she saw in the book. It literally took me away to the Utah and made it easy to imagine the setting. 
     And of course, last but not least, I loved the super relevant message from this story. A lot of times people don't give a second thought to their words or actions because they are behind a screen. But this book makes the reader really think about the person on the other side of the screen and whether or not what they may have said or done was justified. It's such an important message to remember in this digital age and to remember what you say can really affect some people. Remember to keep kindness first.
     There's not too many books that I say should be considered required reading in schools. To be honest, there's only been two this year so far: THUG and This is How it Happened. Teens need thi message to make sure they think about more than just the amount of retweets or likes they'll get. 
Overall, I give this