ARC Review: THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness

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

ARC Review: THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness
The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Written by: Patrick Ness
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: October 6th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Source: ALA Annual 2015
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: The Chaos Walking Trilogy


What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshiped by mountain lions.

MyThoughts_v2

Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it — I don’t think it’s possible for Patrick Ness to write a book that doesn’t connect to my soul.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here appears to be, on the surface, a pretty simple concept. In this world, Chosen Ones are everywhere. These “indie kids” are the heroes of YA fiction, busy saving the world while mostly ignoring the collateral damage and “normal people” in the process. Within this world, The Rest of Us Just Live Here asks a simple question: What about the rest of us? What about the normal kids on the periphery of these Chosen Ones’ stories?

They’re too cool to ever, ever do anything like go to prom or listen to music other than Jazz while reading poetry. They’ve always got some story going on that they’re heroes of. The rest of us just have to live here, hovering around the edges, left out of it all, for the most part.

Having said that, the indie kids do die a lot. Which must suck.

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Book Review: CINDER by Marissa Meyer

Book Review: CINDER by Marissa Meyer
Cinder
The Lunar Chronicles #1

Written by: Marissa Meyer
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: January 3rd 2012
Genres: Retelling, Sci-Fi
Pages: 390
Source: Purchased
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

MyThoughts_v2

Nikki, I hear you saying, what is this?!?! Did you just read Cinder?! Where have you been the past 3 years?!?!?! Okay, okay calm down. No, I did not just read Cinder.

I actually just re-read it for the third time. Yes, it is that good.

I’m not going to turn this into a very long review, since I’m sure 90% of you have already read and loved this first installment in The Lunar Chronicles. To the other 10% of you, I say either, a) alright, you tried it, you didn’t love it, fair enough, just move it right along… or b) WHO ARE YOU WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE WHY HAVEN’T YOU READ THIS BOOK/SERIES YET?!

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of retellings. I’m also a huge fan of sci-fi. Also romance. And dashing princes. And robots with the greatest personalities ever… wait, what? 😆 Cinder has all that and more. And re-reading this book has been (and always will be) a joy.

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ARC Review: UPROOTED by Naomi Novik

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

ARC Review: UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
Uprooted

Written by: Naomi Novik
Published by: Del Rey
Release date: May 19th 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 438
Source: NetGalley
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Add on: Goodreads

Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

MyThoughts_v2

I’ve been incredibly delinquent in writing this review, because this is one of those books that I just want to shove into people’s hands and say, “Just read it, you’ll thank me later.” What else is there to say, other than that?! Nothing, that’s what.

But I really need to try, becuase if you’re not convinced you need it yet, then I’m not doing my job right. So, here goes.

First and foremost: Reading Uprooted was an awesome experience, for me. I love re-reading books, and I often fantasize about being able to read an amazing book again for the first time — obviously, that’s impossible… but I think Uprooted is the closest I’ve ever come to what that would feel like. Reading this book felt like re-reading an old favorite, but getting to do so for the first time again. I felt such an intense familiarity with the tone, with the story, with the world and the characters — it reminded me of my favorite fantasy books, in the best way. But it never felt overly derivative — there were so many new twists and unique characters and such a sense of newness to the book, coupled with that old familiarity… It was just amazing.

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ARC Review: LION HEART by A.C. Gaughen

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

ARC Review: LION HEART by A.C. Gaughen
Lion Heart
Scarlet #3

Written by: A.C. Gaughen
Published by: Bloomsbury
Release date: May 19th 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 348
Source: Publisher
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Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: Scarlet, Lady Thief

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

The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy delivers another action-packed and romance-filled adventure.

Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

MyThoughts_v2

I have a problem. Well, okay, I’ve got two problems. First, the normal “how does one even write a review of the last book in a series?!” problem. But my bigger one is this: “How does one even begin to do the last book in a series justice when it is this freaking good?

But I desperately need to figure out how to answer those questions. Because Lion Heart is that freaking good.

If you haven’t read Scarlet and Lady Thief, and you’re curious whether this concluding volume does the series justice, and whether you should pick up the first book…

…the answer is, unequivocally, you should.

Everything amazing about the first two books in this series — the characters, the emotion, the plot — all comes together, and it basically amounts to an entire book of OH GOD PLEASE LET THIS TURN OUT OKAY‘s and YES OMG FINALLY‘s. Lion Heart is the culmination of so much hard work, so much heartbreak and sacrifice, and it is pure payoff.

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ARC Review: A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas

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

ARC Review: A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses
A Court of Thorns and Roses #1

Written by: Sarah J. Maas
Published by: Bloomsbury
Release date: May 5th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

MyThoughts_v2

In some respects, I feel like this review might be a bit… preaching to the choir? Because, yes — I, too, will be singing the praises of Sarah J. Maas and the first book in her new fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. Yes, you’ve probably heard this song before.

BUT WAIT, DON’T LEAVE, I HAVE *THINGS* TO SAY, AND IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY PREORDERED OR BOUGHT OR READ THIS BOOK  YET, YOU NEED TO LISTEN.

*ahem* Sorry, I’ll try to rein in the capslock for the remainder of this review. I make no promises, though.

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SimonVs Blog Tour: Review! Giveaway! OREOS!!!

SVTHSA_blogtour

I’m so, so excited to be a part of the blog tour for this amazing book, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda! So let’s get this show on the road: I’ve got a short review for you (aka, my flails), a bit about how I eat my Oreos, PLUS info for two giveaways (including an Oreo giveaway), so be sure to read till the bottom of the post!

(And, FYI: Simon loves Oreos. Thus, all the Oreo love surrounding this book. Not that there needs to be an excuse for Oreos. Because OREOS. …Just sayin’.)

SimonVs Blog Tour: Review! Giveaway! OREOS!!!
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Written by: Becky Albertalli
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Release date: April 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

MyThoughts_v2

People really are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.

Guys, what can I even say about this book?? I sat down to start writing this review immediately upon finishing Simon, because I don’t want to lose this feeling – this floaty, can’t-stop-smiling, everything-is-right-with-the-world feeling… Ugh!! I’m so ridiculously happy, it’s disgusting. I can’t even.

Simon is one of those books that is just immediately good. You start reading, and you go, Yes, I love this character’s voice! How many pages have I read… 20? I already love these characters! This is the best!! And it just. Never. Stops.

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