Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (53)

Waiting on Wednesday/s are hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine in which you choose a book or books that you're excited and waiting for.
This week's Waiting on Wednesday book is...

Title: No Love Allowed
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 19th 2016
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

It's all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

Reasons for why I am excited for this book:

1) I am a big supporter of Kate Evangelista and I will pretty much read anything she writes, and her Contemporaries have been pretty successful so far so I have complete trust that No Love Allowed will deliver. (And I've been seeing some great reviews of it so that's a good sign!)
2) I am in absolute cover lust with the cover. When Swoon Reads hosted a voting for the official image, that cover caught my eye and I've been in love with it ever since. It just screams summer Contemporary romance, it has everything working for it.
3) The blurb looks and sounds so good! I cheered for No Love Allowed back when it was just an MS in Swoon Reads's website so I'm all kinds of excited to finally see it published and in bookstores. I just can't wait!

What are your WoW pick/s for this week? Let me know in the comments and I'll check them out!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

ARC Review: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Title: Unhooked
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Forget all you thought you knew about Peter Pan, his lost boys, Hook and even Tinker Bell. Just forget about your childhood Neverland and welcome Lisa Maxwell's dark but gorgeous version of Peter Pan, Unhooked. I could not put this book down (stayed up until the wee hours of the morning just to keep up the fast pace) and I kind of hated myself a bit after for reading it too fast. Unhooked is the tale of Peter Pan you never knew you wanted... until now.

It took me a few chapters to really connect with Gwen but once I caught on to her voice, I found myself captivated and unable to look away. My fingers were a blur with how quickly I was turning the pages and devouring their words. Gwen is your typical snarky, defensive heroine and that was the image that fit in her scenario, I was amazed that she was able to keep that bravado up for so long. Getting thrown headfirst into an unknown land by evil fey would've thrown anyone off their game, but she managed to keep her head straight (well, sometimes) and really thought things through, which I found admirable. And it was her tenacity and need for answers that helped her out in the end. There were moments, however, when I wanted to shake Gwen and tell her to believe in herself more. The constant doubt and avoidance annoyed me but I guess the ego-boost is where Rowan comes in.

I feel like I can go on and on and on about Rowan (Unhooked's Hook) but I don't want to spoil things for you. I just want to say I love Rowan and Gwen's dynamic together, though they were hesitant in trusting each other, it seemed like they found a part of themselves in each other. They were actually similar, in terms of how fiercely loyal they are (to the point of sacrificing themselves to protect those they love) and their obstinateness (mostly to each other). And there were also parts of them that were scarred and broken, those aspects of themselves called to one another. It was beautiful, heart-breaking and made my chest ache. I really did enjoy their banter, they were just so cute together.

I never knew that Peter Pan (or Pan, as he likes to be called) could be so damn creepy. There's only so many times a person can smile pleasantly before his face cracks. Sure, I was intrigued by him and his good looks and runed chest but as soon as he slipped into the page, I was on guard and so was Gwen, luckily. Honestly, he scared me more than the Dark Ones or the other creepy crawlies in Neverland (and there was an abundance of them), I just got really bad vibes from him. No one can be that charming.

The darkness of Unhooked was really what drew me in, everything was so fascinating and I just couldn't look away from all the blood and evilness. One of the things that got me were the Lost Boys, Lisa Maxwell's interpretation of them pulled at my heart-strings (especially when I saw how much Rowan cared for them) but also made me very afraid. With this novel, you never run out of excitement because every turn you make, you meet someone or something new that will wreak havoc. However there were moments in the book where I found myself confused, mostly with the Olivia bits, I felt like she was an afterthought and her scenes greatly disturbed me (in a good way?) but yeah, I didn't think she was too important.

Unhooked had me hooked, lined and sinkered, it was a story that managed to have heart amidst all the darkness. It was a great read and though the ending did leave me wanting for a bit more I felt like its conclusion made the most sense after all those events (they will be mended). Lisa Maxwell delivered a fantastic book and I look forward to whatever else she has in store for us.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (52)

Waiting on Wednesday/s are hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine in which you choose a book or books that you're excited and waiting for.
This week's Waiting on Wednesday book is...

Title: Kill the Boy Band
Author: Goldy Moldavsky
Publisher: Point
Publication date: February 23rd 2015
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

From debut author Goldy Moldavsky, the story of four superfan friends whose devotion to their favorite boy band has darkly comical and murderous results.

Okay, so just know from the start that it wasn't supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near The Ruperts, our favorite boy band.

We didn't mean to kidnap one of the guys. It kind of, sort of happened that way. But now he's tied up in our hotel room. And the worst part of all, it's Rupert P. All four members of The Ruperts might have the same first name, but they couldn't be more different. And Rupert P. is the biggest flop out of the whole group.

We didn't mean to hold hostage a member of The Ruperts, I swear. At least, I didn't. We are fans. Okay, superfans who spend all of our free time tweeting about the boys and updating our fan tumblrs. But so what, that's what you do when you love a group so much it hurts.

How did it get this far? Who knows. I mean midterms are coming up. I really do not have time to go to hell.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

Reasons for why I am excited for this book:

1) I actually heard about Kill the Boy Band at BEA and ever since I was told about it, I pretty much became obsessed with the idea of it (one of my biggest regrets was not being able to grab an ARC at the expo). So yeah, I basically stalked the author and the book everywhere. I read reviews like an addict looking for even the tiniest of fixes just to survive. Yeahp, that was me.
2) I'm not normally a fan of Contemporary books but when people start describing a book with words like "dark", "hilarious" and "unlike anything they've ever read", count me in first in line! Also, super odd but I am kind of in love with Goldy Moldavsky's name, it's cute and just rolls off the tongue.
3) Have you read the blurb? Can you look me in the eyes and tell me that you're not excited for a novel about friends accidentally kidnapping their least favourite band member from their favourite band? See? It sounds so good, am I right? You're welcome.

What are your WoW pick/s for this week? Let me know in the comments and I'll check them out!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Review: F*ck Love by Tarry Fisher

Title: F*ck Love
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Publication date: December 31st 2015
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly. Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked.
Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered,
and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful … if he wasn’t dating her best friend.
Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

When Tarryn Fisher announced that she was writing a novel called F*ck Love, my curiosity was immediately piqued. Combining that with the insanely vague blurb, angsty cover and mysterious release date, I was yearning for this book. So when Tarryn Fisher randomly released the book on December 31st, I devoured it in a span of a few hours, only to find out that F*ck Love would introduce me to a whole new aspect of Tarry Fisher and her writing.

I'm going to be honest and admit that the farther I got into the book, the more apprehensive I became of it. I was shocked by the difference of Tarryn Fisher's writing style from her other novels; but half-way through F*ck Love was when everything clicked for me. The writing truly embodied and fit Helena Conway's character (kind of like method writing, I guess). Tarry Fisher's prose changed from angsty, dark and seductive to a more whimsical, odd and trippy style of writing. Being in Helena's head was crazy (which is really typical Tarry Fisher), she made a lot of analogies with Harry Potter (which I loved), took even more selfies with insanely awesome names and her chapter titles were all in hashtag form. But more than her craziness (and her awesome yet confusing topknot), she was genuinely a great person. I adored seeing things from Helena's perspective and I honestly felt that she was under appreciated (especially by her friend, Della). I absolutely loved seeing a whole new side to Tarry Fisher and her writing, it was fun and such a great experience.

It all started with a dream... literally. The whole romance between Helena and Kit (#Kitena?) started when Helena dreamt her future life with Kit and then everything got all kinds of weird after. I liked Kit, I didn't love him because I felt like he was too typical sweet, kind of mysterious book boyfriend but he was a great guy to Helena. He was kind of her rock, in a way. He pushed her to find herself and even if it was the Dream Kit that influenced Helena, it still counts (haha). 99% of the time, I just want to smack him and tell him to go and break up with Della, but really, things weren't that simple.

While majority of the book was quirky and fun, it wouldn't be written by Tarry Fisher if it didn't have some semblance of angst, so yeah, it did. I have no particular comment on it other than I'm sad it happened but fine that it did. #karmaisabitch

All in all, I really enjoyed F*ck Love. I was unused to this new and happy style of writing but Tarry Fisher definitely knows how to make a novel her own by reminding you, in some way, that this book is still hers and you shouldn't get too comfortable. I had fun, I laughed, cringed, laughed even more, giggled a bit and got my heart a little broken but I survived (which is more than I can say when I read Mud Vein). F*ck Love is a great read and I recommend reading all of Tarry Fisher's other books before reading this one because you'll depress yourself, in a good way, reading them and this one will definitely make you feel better.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

{Blog Tour} Review: Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

Title: Anna and the Swallow Man
Author: Gavriel Savit
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date: January 26th 2016
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

A stunning, literary, and wholly original debut novel set in Poland during the Second World War perfect for readers of The Book Thief.

Kraków, 1939. A million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up. Anna Łania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father, a linguistics professor, during their purge of intellectuals in Poland. She’s alone.

And then Anna meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall, a skilled deceiver with more than a little magic up his sleeve. And when the soldiers in the streets look at him, they see what he wants them to see.

The Swallow Man is not Anna’s father—she knows that very well—but she also knows that, like her father, he’s in danger of being taken, and like her father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced. She follows him into the wilderness.

Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgment, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous. Even the Swallow Man.

Destined to become a classic, Gavriel Savit’s stunning debut reveals life’s hardest lessons while celebrating its miraculous possibilities.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

My Sociology professor once told us that language colors the way we see the world, we use varied words to describe how everything looks and feels. Gavriel Savit used his words beautifully and created a curious and wondrous world through Anna's eyes. It's been a while since I last read a great Middle Grade, especially one that managed to capture my interest for an impressive amount of time. I was actually reading Anna and the Swallow during my finals because I could not stop until I unearthed all of its secrets, and highlighted every gorgeous passage there was (trust me, there were a lot of great lines).

Seeing through Anna's eyes, sifting through her memories and going through her experiences was a very interesting journey. Especially when she would recall things her father did and how the people he brought into Anna's life affected her. Even though Anna is supposed to be a child, her mind has  very beautiful and with clear trains of thought. It was a unique experience for me and it allowed me to grow from witnessing Anna's different events in life.

While the book was lovely, I will admit that there were moments when it got a bit too slow for me; but I am not too surprised because there's a lot of discussion and depth. Anna and the Swallow Man's relationship was fascinating to me, there was a distinct bond between the two but also, no promises of being together forever. They were shrouded in mystery (and a bit of luck) and everything seemed to fall where they belonged. However, there were moments in the book (mostly in the latter part) that constantly nagged me as to what significance of the Swallow Man played in Anna's life, there were a bit of questions that were left unanswered, in my opinion.

All in all, Anna and the Swallow Man is a wonderful novel that will give you all kinds of emotions and different perspectives in life. The story is a contradiction: simple yet complex, warm yet unbelievably cold, and dull yet extremely bright. Gabriel Savit has written a lovely novel that will be sure to warm everyone's hearts but also leave you somewhat confused (haha).