Wishing and Waiting Wednesday

Wishing and Waiting Wednesday (May 31)

CaptureWishing and Waiting Wednesday is an original weekly meme to talk about books that have been on my to buy list and my to be read shelf.

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26813380WHEN FRIENDSHIP FOLLOWED ME HOME by Paul Griffin has been on my “to buy” list since July 2016. When I first saw this book on GoodReads, I knew it would probably be a book that tore me apart… but I can’t wait to read it.

A boy’s chance encounter with a scruffy dog leads to an unforgettable friendship in this deeply moving story about life, loss, and the meaning of family

Ben Coffin has never felt like he fits in. A former foster kid, he keeps his head down at school to avoid bullies and spends his afternoons reading sci-fi books at the library. But that all changes when he finds a scruffy abandoned dog named Flip and befriends the librarian’s daughter, Halley. For the first time, Ben starts to feel like he belongs in his own life. Then, everything changes, and suddenly, Ben is more alone than ever. But with a little help from Halley’s magician father, Ben discovers his place in the world and learns to see his own magic through others’ eyes.

Equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming, this book is a must-read for dog lovers and fans of emotionally resonant middle grade novels like One for the Murphys and Okay for Now.

 

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23507488CALIFORNIA by Edan Lepucki has been on my shelf since early 2016. I actually bought it when I made my first BookOutlet order. This was purchased when I was deep into my dystopian phase, and as I moved past that, this book got left behind.

The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they’ve left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable in the face of hardship and isolation. Mourning a past they can’t reclaim, they seek solace in each other. But the tentative existence they’ve built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she’s pregnant.

Terrified of the unknown and unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses dangers of its own. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust.

A gripping and provocative debut novel by a stunning new talent, California imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind’s dark nature and deep-seated resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.

 

What books are you Wishing and Waiting for?

Reviews

Mini Review: RUIN AND RISING

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Book: RUIN & RISING
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 4/5
TW: Death, blood, abuse.
Series: The Grisha Series (Book 3)

14061957RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo is the last installment of the Grisha series. The book picks up where SIEGE & STORM leaves off with Alina and Mal stuck underground, The Darkling running amok, and our sweet Prince Nikolai nowhere to be found.

I had heard a ton of people saying I would be disappointed with the ending and while I wish it would have ended differently (I will be talking spoilers at the end… and I will let you know when those spoilers start), I was overall ok with the conclusion of this trilogy.

Having said that, I will say that Alina and Mal never grew on me as characters. I thought by the end I would love Alina, but that never happened. I’m not sure if was just because she was such a bland character or if The Darkling and Nikolai just outshined her. Everyone seemed to have such complex backgrounds (even the side characters) but Alina and Mal were just… flat.

I would recommend this series though… just because of Darkling and Nikolai. Seriously. They are amazing characters.

Spoilers under the cut: Continue reading “Mini Review: RUIN AND RISING”

Spooky Saturday

Spooky Saturday (May 27)

CaptureSpooky Saturday is an original weekly post where I talk about books that will thrill and chill!

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Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

This book gave me all sorts of chills and thrills when I read it in 2015. Anna definitely isn’t some timid, beautiful ghost- she’s got a grudge to settle. This is a classic spooky story- a haunted house, a curse, and some imagery that will get right under your skin.

I loved Cas. He’s what I imagine Dean Winchester would have been as a teenager… if he had a cool parent and a less annoying little brother. The romance between Cas and, uh, a certain other character was a little weird for me but who am I too judge what spirit, er, person a young man falls for.

I did read the sequel to this and while it has a lot of terrifying moments (think haunted forest), it didn’t quite capture that initial ‘scare the socks off me’ appeal.

Not as scary as King but it still holds its own.

Uncategorized

This is not a book post.

Trigger warnings for lots of things. Depression, anxiety, suicide attempt being most prevalent.

If you follow me on twitter or have been updates then you already know the start of this story. Monday night I had a psychotic break and took a whole bunch of pills and then drank a whole bunch of rum. My dad had come home early from a revival and caught me in the process of, well, dying, and called 911. I stopped breathing on the way to the hospital, had my stomach pumped, and was plopped into ICU.

I’m alive and I am desperately trying to be ok with that.

I don’t feel like talking about everything that culminated into that 5 minute experience of “Yes, I’m going to do this.” Mostly because it’s too complex to adequately express. May is a month of sorrow on it’s on- Mother’s Day and the 10 year anniversary of my Mama’s death. Then the strenuous months of thinking my Dad wasn’t going to make it, the March Debacle I am still suffering from, and the sudden realization that the YA community is no longer a safe place for me to be… it’s hard. It’s hard.

It also feels like just another failure. Something I didn’t quite finish. It’s a good thing, I know, but I’m still wrestling with this restless feeling that I tried and failed. Everyone always wants the stories about people who realized half-way through that it was a mistake. My story, however, includes waking up in the ICU, puking black tar all over myself and thinking “Did I survive… for this?” I have two fucked up kidneys, a catheter coming out of my neck, and dialysis 3 times a week until my body sorts itself out.

I’m not suicidal now. I don’t have the energy to be. I do feel like I have this infinite well of unhappiness inside of me and we’re trying to figure out how to empty that. My therapist has been right there with me for the last 8 years and she said she isn’t giving up on me and my quest for happiness.  I haven’t given up on that either.

My best friend (the Montana one, not the Texas one) flew down and has been handling updates, giving my Grandma and Dad some peace. I can’t imagine how exhausted she must be of saying the same thing over and over- Weezie tried to commit suicide. They’re in the ICU. They’re ok. Acute kidney failure, low blood pressure, they’re alive they’re alive they’re alive

She’s also been rifling through my mentions and DMs. I appreciate all the well wishes. I appreciate the initial messages asking me to call the Suicide Prevention hotline. I appreciate the love. I do not, however, appreciate DMs with screenshots of people saying they are furious at folks for posting suicidal thoughts. My pal, no one is more embarrassed that I’m still here than me. I have enough guilt on my shoulders without the added pressure of your opinions.

Early in 2017, a Native woman took her own life. She belonged to the book community. I nearly did the same. The book community isn’t a safe space for Natives. This isn’t up for debate. Statistics at this point don’t lie. I have another account where I’ll talk about books with my friends and that will be enough for me for right now. That’s all I ever really wanted, anyway. Just to talk about books without being accused of not being there for teens or being creepy because I jokingly say ‘book boyfriends’. My therapist and I talked about that briefly yesterday and she gave me a confirmation I really needed- I only have to be here for me. Because I am important regardless of what anyone else thinks.

I’m going to be ok, I think. You’re going to be ok, too. And if you feel like you’re not, we’ll all create new twitter accounts and talk about Nikolai Lantsov and other characters who are totally Queer. (I’m joking… kind of)

All my love,

Weezie.

 

Reviews

Mini Review: SIEGE AND STORM

 

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Book: RUIN & RISING
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 3.5/5
TWs: Blood, death
Series: The Grisha (Book 2)

CaptureSIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo is the second book in the Grisha series. It picks up a few weeks after SHADOW AND BONE with Alina and Mal trying to live a normal life in Cofton. But Alina is the Sun Summoner and life can never just be simple.

I definitely didn’t favor this book as much as I did the first one and the reason why is pretty simple- Mal. I have never encountered such a whiney, entitled character and I can’t help but hope he dies in the third book just so I don’t have to deal with him anymore. I hated the way he constantly spoke over Alina, his jealousy, and the fact that he obviously cares more for the girl he wants Alina to be more than the actual Alina.

This book does, however, give you the wonderous beauty that is Nikolai Lanstov. (Just imagine me sighing dreamily any time he is mentioned). Yes, the wayward Prince finally makes his debut in this book and it is glorious.

If you’re a fan of the Darkling (like me), he’s still around! Still as handsome and evil as ever.

I’m hoping the third book changes my feelings on Alina. I’ve never felt so ‘meh’ about a heroine before and it’s kind of freaking me out.

 

Diversity Spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday (May 25)

ThursdayDiversity Spotlight Thursday is hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves & Paperbacks! Every Thursday, I’ll be spotlighting a Diverse book.

18667779I’ve seen a lot of Diversity bloggers talk about how underwhelmed they were with EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU by Nina Lacour. While this wasn’t exactly the most exciting book I’ve ever read, I still enjoyed it.

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
 
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

In all honesty, yes, this book is kind of forgettable. I read this in late 2016 and I really can’t tell you a whole lot about it other than I liked Emi, didn’t care for Ava, and there was some antiques involved. But having said that, I do remember enjoying the book while I was reading it. Not every book is going to stick to your ribs when you finish it. Some are just meant to be enjoyed in the moment, and this book definitely fills that definition.

Emi felt like that best friend you love but want to shake because they keep going back to the same person who clearly doesn’t deserve them. You find yourself rooting for her to just move on and cheer when she finally does.

If you’re looking for something that’s a little fluffy and tinge sad, this is the book for you.

Wishing and Waiting Wednesday

Wishing and Waiting Wednesday (May 24)

CaptureWishing and Waiting Wednesday is an original weekly post to spotlight a book I’ve had on my ‘to buy’ list and ‘to be read’ shelf for… maybe a little too long.

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16120434I added FAIRYTALES FOR WILDE GIRLS by Allyse Near back in July 2015 and honestly kind of forgot about it until I went to clean my GoodReads shelf off. This sounds spooky enough to be on my October reading list.

There’s a dead girl in a birdcage in the woods. That’s not unusual. Isola Wilde sees a lot of things other people don’t. But when the girl appears at Isola’s window, her every word a threat, Isola needs help.

Her real-life friends – Grape, James and new boy Edgar – make her forget for a while. And her brother-princes – the mermaids, faeries and magical creatures seemingly lifted from the pages of the French fairytales Isola idolises – will protect her with all the fierce love they possess.

It may not be enough.

Isola needs to uncover the truth behind the dead girl’s demise and appease her enraged spirit, before the ghost steals Isola’s last breath.

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13601681I added AFTER THE END by Amy Plum to my book collection in 2015 when I made my first Book Outlet order. And it is still sitting on my shelf. Why? Because I clearly have a book buying compulsion with little follow through, haha. Buy 10 books, go to the library. Ugh, I need help.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she’s trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

 

What books are you Wishing and Waiting on this week?

Reviews

Review: STARFLIGHT

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Book: STARFLIGHT
Author: Melissa Landers
Rating: 2.5/5
TWs: Slavery, forced marriage, blood
Series: Starflight (Book 1)

21793182I hauled STARFLIGHT by Melissa Landers back in 2016… and unhauled it in February after this year after hearing a lot of so-so reviews.

Then I decided to join an adult YA book club and surprise, surprise- this was their book of the month. I told myself it couldn’t be that bad. I generally love anything and everything set in space (the glaring exception being Beth Revis’s series ACROSS THE UNIVERSE) so I decided to bite the bullet and give STARFLIGHT another chance.

Let me start this by saying that’s not necessarily a bad book. I was pretty much hooked from the start and read the whole thing in one sitting. It’s not a complicated read, the majority of the characters are likeable, and Landers does a great job in making the reader want to know what’s going to happen next.

However, the ending felt a lot like jumping off the high dive with every intention of doing a swan dive… and ending up doing a belly flop. I had so many unanswered questions at the end of the book. Was Doran not going to try help his father? Was he going to confront his mother? It felt like Landers forgot the plot of her own book at the end and was just like “Oh well, here’s an ending!”

But even with that, I still kind of enjoyed it. I kept thinking that Doran and Solara had great chemistry and I liked the “reformed” bad boy plot until I realized that Doran wasn’t a reformed bad boy- he was an asshole who admitted he wanted to run Solara into the ground and was going to dump her at an outpost in the middle of space where she probably would have been sold into slavery or worse. He literally spent his entire high school career making sure Solara had a terrible time because she won a scholarship. This is an entitled, rich boy who mocked a poverty stricken orphan every day.

His sudden realization that she’s a person, that she matters, and that she shouldn’t be treated like scum on his shoes isn’t romantic. While I do enjoy the enemies to lovers trope, Doran actually owned Solara and made her life a living hell. He knew that she desperately needed to get to the outpost and he took advantage of her.

Supposedly Doran’s reaction to Solara and deciding to drop her at an outpost in the middle of space stems from him being triggered by her tattoos. And while I’m glad that’s something the author included (and his PTSD), Doran was an asshole way before then and that’s why his “trigger” is used as a plot twist. When most people are triggered, they act out of the ordinary but Doran just acted like the bastard he always is. There was a lot of care to try and explain away his bad behavior but… I’m not having any of it.

At the unsatisfying conclusion of this book, I saw there was a sequel and I had already decided to read it because I wanted to fill in the gaping holes that weren’t filled in book 1. Only book 2 doesn’t cover Doran and Solara. No, book 2 is all about my two least favorite characters from STARFLIGHT. After reading reviews, it’s apparent that the spoiled princess is still trailing along her best friend who left his entire life behind to protect her. I’m not about that.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book. Again, it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever read but it lacks.

Middle Grade Monday · Uncategorized

Middle Grade Monday (May 22)

MondayMiddle Grade Monday is an original weekly meme created to spotlight a great middle grade book!

This Monday I wanted to spotlight a middle grade book that hasn’t come out yet but I’m really excited for!

25117605We Need Diverse Books founder Ellen Oh returns with Spirit Hunters, a high-stakes middle grade mystery series about Harper Raine, the new seventh grader in town who must face down the dangerous ghosts haunting her younger brother. A riveting ghost story and captivating adventure, this tale will have you guessing at every turn!

Harper doesn’t trust her new home from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors are that the Raine family’s new house is haunted. Harper isn’t sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of déjà vu, but she can’t remember why. She knows that the memories she’s blocking will help make sense of her brother’s behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in this house, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?

SPIRIT HUNTERS comes out 7/25/17!

Reviews

Mini Review: Shadow and Bone

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Book: SHADOW AND BONE
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 5/5
TWs: Blood, gore, abuse
Series: The Grisha (Book 1)

CaptureI have had the Grisha series sitting on my TBR shelf since August of last year. I had initially purchased it for YallFest, ended up leaving early, and never got around to actually reading it because everyone kept telling me that it wasn’t as good as SIX OF CROWS/CROOKED KINGDOM.

They’re not wrong. There a magic in SoC/CK that the Grisha series doesn’t have but I still LOVE this series so far.

Book one introduces us to Alina, our main heroine, who is likeable but forgettable. Seriously, she’s kind of like every other white YA heroine. Skinny, clumsy, but full of untapped potential. Then there’s Mal (who I hate… with a fiery passion), her playboy best friend.

And then the Darkling. My beautiful, beautiful Darkling. Yes, he’s evil. Yes, he has terrible morals. Yes, he is stylishly handsome.

While this is definitely not as good as SoC/CK… it’s still good. I haven’t been this excited for a series in  along time.