Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topic is:
Books On My Spring TBR

I've fallen into yet another reading slump recently, so I'm being conservative with the number of books I'd like to read over the next few months, lol. If I end up reading more, that would be awesome, but I also don't want to set unrealistic expectations for myself.

1. Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

I think this is going to be my next read. I read the first few pages when my copy arrived, and it was very, very, very difficult not to abandon the book I was reading at the time and just continue reading this.

2. All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle is one of my favorite series EVER, so the fact that I haven't read this yet shows just how serious my reading slump is. :/

3. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

I LOVE this cover!

4. Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray

Last year's Defy the Stars blew me away, and I can't wait to read this much anticipated sequel.

5. I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman is one of my favorite contemporary authors, so reading her latest is a must.

6. The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

I enjoyed Green's Half Bad series (still have to read the final book, lol), and this new series looks very promising.

7. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

I've heard so many fantastic things about this book and got to read the first few chapters through Epic Reads' FIRST5 e-newsletter, which in turn sold me on buying a copy. Now I just have to read it. XD

What books are you most looking forward to reading this spring?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 2018 Recap

Oh February—where have you gone?! Wasn't it just Valentine's Day, AKA Lee-Eats-Lots-of-Reese's-Peanut-Butter-Hearts Day?

Work has been extremely busy, resulting in my inability to read more than five pages at night before falling asleep. I DNF'ed The Traitor's Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen because I just wasn't feeling it. I may try to go back to it one day.

I got to see Black Panther last week, and it was AWESOME. I'm trying to watch/re-watch all of the Marvel films before Infinity War comes out in May and have 6 checked off the list so far. Nerd much? XD

Reviews Posted:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Re-Read Forever

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topic is:
Books I Could Re-Read Forever

For me to be able to re-read a book, that book must be able to offer me something new each time I return to it. Re-reading a good book should not only deepen your understanding of it, but also promote new questions and thoughts. When a book can achieve this, it takes the reader on a never-ending adventure with characters so vivid, they become friends. The following are books I will honestly never grow tired of re-experiencing because each time I re-read them, I am able to walk away with a completely different experience. And yes, technically, two of these are plays.

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

4. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

7. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

9. Emma by Jane Austen

What books could you re-read over and over again?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Review: Ink by Alice Broadway

Ink by Alice Broadway
Ink (Skin Books #1)
By Alice Broadway
Format: Print ARC
Source: YALLFest

To Sum It Up: In Saintstone, the marks inked onto a person’s skin tell his or her life story, both the good and the bad. When someone dies, that person’s skin is turned into a book and either deemed worthy of being preserved and remembered or forgotten and burned depending on what kind of life the individual led. Leora Flint has always followed Saintstone’s rules and traditions until her beloved father dies, and questions begin to arise about possible past misdeeds and secrets he might have kept, even from his family.

Lee's Review: Ink is kind of a hard book to describe, even when trying to pinpoint its genre. Because folklore is such an integral part of the novel, Ink sometimes feels like a fantasy. The unquestioning certainty with which the people of Saintstone, the town in which the book is set, must accept these stories as the absolute truth throws some dystopia into the mix.

The life stories of everyone in Saintstone are literally open books because they’re told through the tattoos people acquire—sometimes not voluntarily—throughout their lives. After death, one’s skin is turned into a book, and the books of those judged not worthy of being remembered are burned. It took me a moment to wrap my head around the bit where dead people’s skins become books, but once I got past the initial ewww factor, Ink was an intriguing read. Alice Broadway’s prose is very elegant, even when bringing to life a society ruled by a government that keeps a vigilant watch over its denizens.

Ink is narrated by Leora Flint, who at the book’s open is mourning the loss of her father. In the weeks leading up to the ceremony that will determine whether or not her father deserves to be remembered, Leora becomes increasingly anxious that his book will be thrown into the flames for possibly breaking Saintstone’s laws. Leora herself is not the rebellious type, and it comes across in her narrative voice. That posed a problem for me later in the book, when Leora makes decisions that seem uncharacteristic for her. I felt she needed more development leading up to that point so her actions made more sense for her character.

I also didn’t find the book’s big reveal all that revelatory. Again, I think it’s because Leora’s narration is so steady, it didn’t have the inflection needed to deliver an impact.

While Ink wasn’t quite a page turner for me, I did admire Alice Broadway’s lovely writing and creativity in devising the book’s premise. For me to read the sequel, though, I’d want to see more depth to Leora’s character and the secondary characters as well.

All in All: I really liked the genre mashup here and the prose, but I was looking for a bit more to Leora’s character.

Melissa's Review: In Ink, Alice Broadway crafts an exceptional setting through magnificent world building. She forms a unique culture that propels the plot and her characters successfully throughout the book. Because the society she places her characters within is so complex, the story carries a deeper meaning. The theme of the story becomes one of man (or in this case, woman) against a corrupt government, a theme I find particularly captivating. The theme does, however, cause Leora to be somewhat naïve in the beginning, but the reader does see her make some satisfying progress as the story continues.

Ink is very well written, and Broadway does an excellent job of describing the artistry behind the inking culture, truly showing the reader what these tattoos look like. The pacing of the novel is mostly consistent, keeping the reader interested. Additionally, the characters are likable, but not quite lovable. All of the important aspects of a good book are present, but the characters could not connect with me in a way to take this book to the next level.

The only true problem I had with Ink was that the ending felt slightly rushed. I would have really liked to see Leora develop more as a character while she dealt with the truths she had discovered. I think that growth would have made the resolution feel more complete. I do think the ending scene was quite powerful, but it could have been even better with more insight into Leora’s decisions.

All in All: This was an excellent read, and Broadway’s world building skills are phenomenal. I just wish the main character’s development felt more complete.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been on My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topic is:
Books That Have Been on My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

This week’s prompt was waaay too easy for me. There are tons of books I’ve been meaning to get to.

1. The Last Star by Rick Yancey

I love The 5th Wave series, but it is taking me an eternity to get to the third book in the series.

2. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

I’ve had this book for two years! Lee keeps bugging me to read it . . . .

3. Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Man, I loved The Wolves of Mercy Falls, and I can’t wait to get to this book.

4. Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

Again, from a series I really enjoyed, but have not had the chance to finish.

5. Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

Ditto to the previous one.

6. The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

This one has been sitting in my car for many moons.

7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman

I loved If I Stay, but I’m hesitant to read the sequel.

8. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

This book has probably been on my TBR list the longest of all of these books.

9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

I have wanted to read this one since I read Jane Eyre in high school.

10. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne

I am downright scared to read this one.

What books have been on your TBR the longest?

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