Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: Forever with You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Forever with You
(Wait for You #5)
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
MMP, 370 pages, Avon
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

In the irresistibly sexy series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, two free spirits find their lives changed by a one-night stand…

Some things you just believe in, even if you've never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It's out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she's got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph's eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.

Nick's self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he's knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she's building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can't walk away. Not when she's the only one who's ever made him wish for forever . . .

My Review

Another good new adult book from Jennifer L. Armentrout!

I have to admit that I wasn’t super excited to read this book. Nick had always seemed like somewhat of a side character with no real intrigue behind his actions or words. I also didn’t remember Stephanie at all, despite the fact that she showed up in a previous Wait for You book. Now, that being said, I still actually enjoyed this installment. Let me tell you why…

Nick still didn’t exactly make the list of my favorite leading men in this series, but he was so sweet to Stephanie once things got rolling that he began to grow on me. The same could be said for Stephanie, who really didn’t have much of a backstory. Her story arc really only seemed to come alive with this book. However, their back-and-forth and overall cuteness had me very happy.

Okay, so I wasn’t super thrilled with the plot. Why? Like I mentioned, it seemed like Stephanie had no past and that her situation was her sole life and, even when we got some more development in there, she was absolutely unrealistic. I mean she didn’t even want her mother to come over when something major happened. WHAT?! That’s what made me demote this book’s rating: the disconnection and seemingly unrealistic actions Steph had. I did enjoy everything leading up to the major event and some stuff after though.

All in all, it’s another solid JLA read with an interesting plot and some characters who are quite cute together.


*Note: I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
(Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-10)
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Hardcover, 672 pages, Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: YA, Paranormal

The New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling collection of short stories chronicling the adventures of Simon Lewis as he trains to become a Shadowhunter is now available in print for the first time with ten brand-new comic illustrations!

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. The events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. At least Simon’s trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. Written by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman, these moving and hilarious short stories are perfect for the fan who just can’t get enough of the Shadowhunters.

My Thoughts

I didn’t buy the novella ebook versions of these stories, simply because I knew a bind-up of all of them was coming out. Also, the only reason I’m excited for this bind-up is because of MALEC and what I’ve heard happens to them. I’m not a fan of Simon, so his viewpoints, along with the Shadowhunter history that’s going to play a part in this book, doesn’t really interest me.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Thoughts on the Justice League Trailer

I thought I’d share my thoughts and feels about the new Justice League trailer that was released during Comic Con. In case you haven’t seen it, I’ve posted it below:


Okay, so first of all, I have to mention that music. I think the showrunners were going for bada$$, but instead what they really got was douche-y background noise. I just don’t think it meshes with any of the characters, especially with the supposed seriousness of Batman running around trying to gather superheroes for this so-called threat.

Speaking of threats, I’m not sure when/how Bruce even came across knowledge of this new big bad. Did Lex have it locked away somewhere? How does Bruce know what’s going to happen? Is he psychic? In the Avengers movies, the threat is always shown and is usually discussed in the trailers in relation to the superheroes, but here, it’s just implied that there’s a threat (the box that I can’t remember the name of right now). I feel like that’s poor editing on their part. They’re focusing on the relationship between the characters but not on what’s actually bringing those characters together.

Okay, I think that’s the end of any real complaints I had with this trailer. For the most part, I did enjoy the team dynamics. Aquaman is very… nice (*wink, wink*) and not at all the comically powered superhero that everyone used to make fun of. Flash is a little off for me. I just expected his role to be a bit more serious—still comedic, but serious. And, of course, Cyborg doesn’t get a lot of time in the trailer, but he looks pretty cool.

Oh, one more minor complaint. I think it’s weird that Bruce is just going around and advertising his alter ego. It’s like with what happened in Suicide Squad. He’s just all la-tee-da about being Batman. I understand why they did it for the plot’s sake, but I just don’t really like it. It feels out of character.

Any of these complaints are overshadowed by the fact that this trailer looks way better than what the Batman vs. Superman movie looked like. There’s no god-awful Lex Luther in the trailer (and hopefully not the film) to ruin it for me.

All in all, the trailer was aesthetically pleasing, the characters looked good, and the release date needs to be sooner.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!

Simple post today because I’m taking a break. Why? Because it’s MY BIRTHDAY! I have been on the planet Earth for exactly one more year! Woot! Woot!

http://www.mania.co.in/wallpaper/Birthday_Scraps/5530/2/wallpapers_Happy_Happy_Birthday_To_me.htm

I have no exciting plans for today, as I have my first day of class (thankfully, it’s a night class), and I’ve already purchased some birthday goodies for myself, which you’ll see in an upcoming Stacking the Shelves post. I will resume my regular posting upon the morrow. ;)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows
(Six of Crows #1)
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Hardcover, 465 pages, Henry Holt and Co.
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

My Review

I hadn’t read a Leigh Bardugo book in what seemed like forever, so I decided it was finally time to pick up Six of Crows, and, with all of the hype going on, I—brace yourselves—didn’t love it.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. It was an enjoyable read. I simply think there was too much buildup surrounding the story and characters. Additionally, I’ve heard from a lot of internet peeps that this book is better than the Grisha trilogy. I did not think that at all. I guess I’m a sucker for the typical fantasy trope story, but I’ll get to that in a little bit.

So this story has a lot of main charactes. There’s Kaz, who’s an interesting conman with a mysterious and tragic backstory; Inej, who also has a tragic backstory and is like a young, female version of Batman; Nina, who is the heartrender/soldier; Matthias, the escaped convict with an attitude problem; Jesper, the gambling addict; and Wylan, the guy we rarely hear about. See what I mean? A lot of characters.

Okay, let me break down which characters I thought were more likable. Kaz is too show-offy. While I like a good heist story (I’m thinking White Collar here), it does get annoying when the MC is prepared for almost every plot twist. As for Inej, her development into a character who is going to fight for something was probably the best growth of the book. Now, Matthias and Nina were two of my favorite characters in this story. I feel like I could have just read a book about them and it would have been soooooo much better.

Moving on now to the typical fantasy trope thing I mentioned earlier. I like it when we get the girl/boy who fights the evil baddie/becomes royal/goes on an adventure. That’s probably because I’ve been reading a lot of those and binging myself on first-person female narratives. This heist story just didn’t mesh with how I, personally, like the plots of my books to go. I want a 1, 2, 3, linear story, and this had a 1, 2, 3 linear story told from six perspectives with so much craziness thrown in.

Also, towards the beginning, it was kind of hard to even get into the world and remember what had happened from the Grisha books. Furthermore, the tone didn’t help because it was very dry for the beginning chapters. I do have to say, however, that things got much easier to follow along with and I became 90% more invested in the characters once the actual heist started to pick up.

All in all, if you’re looking for a continuation of the Grisha trilogy, definitely reconsider picking up Six of Crows right away. It needs some time to digest both before and during its consumption, and booklovers should read the original series before starting this one, simply for clarity’s sake.


*Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Stacking the Shelves: The End of the Trilogies Edition


"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

After having not bought books for more than a month, I caved and bought some books. *sigh*

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
United by Melissa Landers
Between Now and Never by Laura Johnston (not pictured)

I ordered the two YA titles because I just needed to know the endings to these series. I’ve already read and reviewed The Beauty of Darkness (check it out here) and very much enjoyed it. As for Between Now and Never, it’s free on Amazon, so I downloaded it. ;)

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the pic.
https://www.facebook.com/JensenAckles/photos/a.10152066855931755.1073741826.30098386754/10153603944976755/?type=3&theater

Okay, so Jensen isn’t actually in this one, but he was the one who posted this. Now, normally, I don’t really care about celebrities’ lives. Yes, their babies are cute and sometimes it’s fun to see celebrity couples together, but this baby announcement was adorbs! Jensen Ackles and his wife are expecting twins! So cute!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Most Anticipated Release for the Rest of 2016

I didn’t really have a post planned for today and I’ve been writing a lot of reviews lately, so I thought I’d switch it up a little and share what my most anticipated release is for the rest of 2016.

Before I share it, I should say that this was rather hard to decide—not because there were a lot of books that I am anticipating, but because there actually aren’t a lot of books that I’m super excited about. There’s ones I’m looking forward to, but none I’m clamoring to get my hands on. I think this stems from the fact that all my sequels have already come out this year and/or are coming out in spring of 2017.

So, all that being said, the one book that I’m looking forward to more than the others is…

Crystal Storm
(Falling Kingdoms #5)
Publication Date: December 13, 2016
Hardcover, 336 pages, Razorbill
Genres: YA, Fantasy

An epic clash between gods and mortals threatens to tear Mytica apart . . . and prove that not even the purest of love stands a chance against the strongest of magic.

MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he's no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.

LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise.

JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.

AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she'll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.

And what kind of darkness will descend--and who will be safe--after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?

My Thoughts

Now, I’m sure some of you know that I have mixed feelings about this series—not that I don’t really enjoy it, I just sometimes feel like nothing happens in these books. If you want to know what I mean, check out my reviews of previous books in the series. However, I’m super excited for this book for reasons I can’t truly explain, but I’ll try my best to put it into words.

This book is my #1 Most Anticipated because of where the previous book left off, along with the fact that this cover is absolutely gorgeous and that I’m super obsessed with fantasy books right now (I think 90% of the books I’ve read this year have been fantasies). While some other fantasies are being released in the fall of 2016, this is the one that pops out on my TBR list because of the characters, world-building, and ships.

That’s my most anticipated book for the rest of 2016, what book are you looking forward to releasing the most? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Heartless
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
Hardcover, 464 pages, Feiwel and Friends
Genres: YA, Fairytale Retelling

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

My Thoughts

While I love that Meyer’s doing another fairytale retelling, I’m not too terribly thrilled about this story centering around the bad guy. Err… girl of Wonderland. Hopefully, Meyer will change my mind though. Oh, and before I forget to mention it, I’m going to meet Meyer in St. Louis during her October Fierce Reads tour! Woot! Woot!

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Review: Fall with Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Fall with Me
(Wait for You #4)
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
MMP, 376 pages, Avon
Genres: NA, Contemporary, Romance

Jennifer L. Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of the Wait for You series, delivers a new novel of first love, second chances, and scorching chemistry between an artistic bartender and the tough, sexy cop who's determined to win her.

Roxy's loved Reece Anders since she was fifteen, so when the straitlaced cop finally surrendered to a steamy encounter years later, Roxy hoped he'd fall for her, too. He didn't. Or that's what she's always believed. But then Reece storms back into her life when the man who injured her childhood friend is out of prison and wanting to make amends—something Roxy cannot do.

The last thing she wants is to go there with Reece again, but he's determined to prove to her that he's exactly what she needs. Especially when a sick creep starts messing with her. But what's more dangerous to Roxy—a psycho after her or the past that refuses to let go and allow her to open up her heart again?

My Review

Just when I think Jennifer L. Armentrout can do no better when it comes to NA romance, she manages to write another story that has me falling in love with the protagonists. Roxy and Reece’s relationship is so random and sweet that I couldn’t help but want my own Reece.

Okay, so maybe Roxy wouldn’t let me have Reece, but a girl can dream, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want a military man turned cop? The only thing wrong with Reece was that I wished his past had been discussed more than it was in this book. As for Roxy, I like that she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. She was a realistic young woman.

Now, the plot of the story was a bit predictable. I knew who the psycho was as soon as the character was introduced, and I immediately knew what he was going to do. However, I still enjoyed watching Reece and Roxy figure everything out.

All in all, this was another great addition to Armentrout’s fantastic repertoire of amazing romance stories. I can’t wait to read the last book in this companion series. I really need it.


*Note: I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Book Adaptation Tag

I don’t do tag posts very often, but I had the perfect answers to this one. For this tag, I’ll basically just be picking a book that I feel would work well as a particular adaptation (i.e. a movie or TV show).

As for the specifics of the tag, it was created by Monica over at the booktube channel shemightbemonica, and I first saw the tag on Sam’s Thoughts on Tomes channel. I wasn’t actually tagged by anyone, but I really wanted to do this.

So let’s get this thing started!


Book to Movie Adaptation



The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole

This one was kind of hard, simply because there’s a lot of YA movie adaptations out there that have missed the mark. I thought maybe doing something a little different and pushing together a bunch of books from one series into one singular film would help. Thus, my answer for this is The Arcana Chronicles books, starting with Poison Princess. I think this series has been optioned for a TV show, but the books are so short that I just feel like a movie could wrap things up better.



Book to TV Show Adaptation


The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter

It took me all of five seconds to find an answer to this question: The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter. I would kill to see Ali and Cole on the small screen kicking zombie butt and antagonizing each other as much as possible. I also think the characters’ witty banter (*cough* Kat *cough*) would translate well on a network like the CW. I could kind of see something in the tone of The Vampire Diaries crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer with zombies, of course.

Gosh, now I really want this show. Someone make this happen!




Book to Cartoon Adaptation



Like the movie question, this one was a little harder than the others. At first, I wanted to say The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, but then I realized I would rather see a younger-feeling series as a cartoon, so I ended up choosing Percy Jackson and the Olympians, plus the numerous other spinoffs Rick Riordan has out right now.

I’ve never been as big of a fan of the PJ series as some people, but I did manage to recognize how “eh” the movies were. A cartoon would allow for the creators to really stick to the storyline as well as create some more effects involving powers and whatnot.



Book to Graphic Novel/Comic Adaptation


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I don’t actually read a lot of these, so even though I’m going to answer the question, I wouldn’t necessarily purchase something like this. That being said, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo would make a good graphic novel. Why? Because it was rather difficult for me to picture the Ice Court escape and infiltration as it was happening. Yes, there’s a map towards the front of the book, but it wasn’t very helpful as I was reading. A graphic novel would easily allow me to picture the setting as well as get a better idea of what the characters’ actions are.

As for the second installment in the duology, I think it would be rather easy to make another graphic novel to help illustrate everything in Crooked Kingdom as well.



Book to Play Adaptation


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

My answer to this question stems from the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child craze. As most of us know, Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On is a sort of fanfiction of Harry Potter, even though it isn’t about Harry Potter at all. With the relationship between Scorpius and Albus having been so adorbs in the play script, I’m betting a script of Carry On with Simon and Baz would be just as entertaining. And, even though this book disappointed me a bit, I believe Simon and Baz’s relationship and journey would transfer much better in play form.

I would be concerned though, with how this script might be a little too familiar to the Harry Potter world. I'm not sure... I could see some people arguing that its a rip off of HP, and, thus, not allowing it to be adapted. Oh well, at least I don't have to make those kinds of decisions.



Book to Musical Adaptation


The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

I was so freakin’ excited when I thought of this one. I mean, Shazi and Khalid singing together would just be da bomb! I’m picturing something along the lines of The Phantom of the Opera meets Aladdin. What do you think? Would The Wrath and the Dawn make a good musical? Its dark tone and adventurous storyline practically beg for it, in my opinion.

Oh, and as for The Rose and the Dagger, I would either try to somehow combine the two plays or just have a part two for people to see later on. I think I would rather there be a part two than try to cram all of the goodness into one jam-packed adaptation.


***

Well, those are my answers to the Book Adaptation Tag. Do you agree with them? Disagree with them? Have others that would make more sense? Let me know in the comments.