Tracking my TBR – February 2016

TrackingTBR
Last month: January 2016 | This month: February 2016

In Tracking my TBR, I look back on the prior month’s TBR progress — which books did I read? which books did I skip? — and feature the upcoming month’s TBR “grab-bag” (my version of a semi-scheduled TBR pile).


One month down, eleven to go — and I kicked off 2016 with re-reads. A bunch of them. …Okay, fine, exclusively them. (Don’t judge me.)

BOOKS I (RE-)READ IN JANUARY

TMTBR_Jan16reads

Re-reads: The Way of Kings, Shadows of Self, Mistborn: Secret History*,
Warbreaker, Written in RedMurder of Crows
New Reads: None…

I didn’t even read that many books in January, and they were all re-reads. Every. Single. One. Work was crazy, so I think I chose the bookish equivalent of “comfort-food” last month. And this month might end up being the same… We shall see. 😖

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This modern fairy tale’s writing blew me away.

I received this book for free from Dutton. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This modern fairy tale’s writing blew me away.
The Radiant Road

Written by: Katherine Catmull
Published by: Dutton
Release date: January 19th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: Penguin's FirstToRead.com
Format: eBook
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

A gorgeously written tale of magic, friendship, and self-discovery set in a dream-like landscape filled with fairies.

After years of living in America, Clare Macleod and her father are returning to Ireland, where they’ll inhabit the house Clare was born in—a house built into a green hillside with a tree for a wall. For Clare, the house is not only full of memories of her mother, but also of a mysterious boy with raven-dark hair and dreamlike nights filled with stars and magic. Clare soon discovers that the boy is as real as the fairy-making magic, and that they’re both in great danger from an ancient foe.

Fast-paced adventure and spellbinding prose combine to weave a tale of love and loyalty in this young adult fantasy.

A Few Thoughts

Honestly, I’m a bit speechless about this book. It wasn’t one I’d heard of before seeing it on Penguin’s First To Read website, but I snagged it there because fairies! Ireland! And then I decided to read it on a whim over my Christmas vacation last month, and once I got into it, I couldn’t stop reading.

I see the word “lyrical” thrown around a lot when describing books with beautiful writing — I think that word is overused, frankly. Beautiful writing isn’t necessarily the same thing as lyrical writing, nor does it need to be. But in the case of The Radiant Road, “lyrical” is the perfect descriptor. The Radiant Road is lyrical like a song. The writing feels like there’s a beautiful melody running along underneath it, that sweeps you into it as if you’re in a dream.

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A Cute Austen-inspired Contemporary

A Cute Austen-inspired Contemporary
First & Then

Written by: Emma Mills
Published by: Henry Holt & Co.
Release date: October 13th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Source: Library
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

MyThoughts_v2

First & Then is a really charming, quick read. The comparison to Friday Night Lights and Pride and Prejudice in the summary is apt, as this is essentially a contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s tale, with high school football (the players, the Friday night games, etc) as a focal point.

The main character, Devon, loves Jane Austen, which was a cute quirk — she compared pretty much everything to elements from Jane Austen novels. (Though, I thought it was interesting that Pride and Prejudice wasn’t mentioned until the end — considering Devon’s own predicaments mirrored that book pretty closely, the fact that she didn’t at least compare Ezra to Mr. Darcy was a conspicuous absence, for me. Granted, it probably would’ve been weird to have her notice all the similarities with Pride and Prejudice, but still.)

The relationships that I thought First & Then explored the best were actually not the romantic ones. This book does a great job exploring the relationship between Devon and her best friend (and secret years-long crush) Cas, through their ups and downs. And the book also has an amazingly touching relationship between Devon and her cousin Foster, who comes to live with Devon and her family when Foster’s own mom is deemed unfit to take care of him.

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This audiobook is a PERFECT way to re-read, but…

This audiobook is a PERFECT way to re-read, but…
Illuminae (audiobook)

Written by: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Published by: Listening Library
Release date: October 20th 2015
Runtime: 11hrs 41mins
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Buy: Audible
Add on: Goodreads


This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

My Thoughts

This review is incredibly late in coming, considering I listened to this audiobook back in October, but hey, better late than never!

There’s been a lot of buzz around the print edition of this book — for very good reason. Its format is beyond unique, and on top of that, the story is amazing, so I’d really urge you to check out my original Illuminae review if you’re interested in reading more of my thoughts about those things. But if you want to skip that, just suffice it to say, this is one of those books that completely lives up to the hype that surrounds it.

But what about the audiobook version? If you’ve already read the original book, you’re probably wondering how, exactly, they made an audiobook of it — the book isn’t written in normal linear narration.

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Winner’s Kiss

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – The Winner’s Kiss
The Winner's Kiss
The Winner's Trilogy #3

Written by: Marie Rutkoski
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release date: March 29th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 352
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

!! Some spoilers for previous books in this synopsis!!

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks.

But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?

Why I’m Waiting

I think the pertinent question here is: If you’re not waiting on this book, why?? Have you not read this series yet? Because if that’s the case… look at your life, look at your choices. This series is AMAZING, and if you like romance and fantasy, you need to read it. Immediately. And then join me in simultaneously NEEDING and FEARING this final installment becuase if Kestrel and Arin don’t end up deliciously and deliriously happy at the end, I will not be okay.

Also, Heck Yes and a heartfelt THANK YOU to Macmillan, who (though they’re still changing the paperback covers) are planning to release this final hardcover to match the original two. ❤️⚔🌹

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post, I’d love to stop by! :)

The Starbound series comes to an AMAZING finish.

The Starbound series comes to an AMAZING finish.
Their Fractured Light
Starbound #3

Written by: Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Release date: December 1st 2015
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: Audiobook
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads


** Some spoilers for previous books in this synopsis! **

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.

My Thoughts

When you reach the conclusion to a beloved series, one you’ve followed for years, you always hope it will be great. You hope it will live up to expectations — you hope, you hope, and sometimes… your hopes become reality. This book is that reality. To me, Their Fractured Light was perfect.

For those who don’t know (who are you and why are you here?!), the Starbound trilogy is a series of space-opera companion novels, each focusing on a different couple in the same universe, who are all affected by closely-related outside forces, both those of a political and otherworldly nature… You get hints of a larger plot at work in These Broken Stars; you see things overlapping a bit more and starting to come together in This Shattered World; and finally, in Their Fractured Lightthe story finally comes full-circle, and it is pure awesomeness.

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