Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Thoughts: Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
Girl Out of Water
by Laura Silverman
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Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781492646860
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Netgalley

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Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I have to admit, I was really curious to start reading Girl Out of Water. I follow Laura Silverman on Twitter, and all her tweets about the book made me really interested to check it out. I'm glad I did. This book would be perfect to add to your Summer TBR list!

There were a lot of interesting characters in the story, including the main character, Anise, who wanted nothing more than to spend her summer hanging out with her friends and riding the waves. When all her plans changes, she takes them in stride, even when she totally doesn't want to, because.. family. They're everything, right? Anise has a pretty awesome family; her dad, aunt and cousins were all really great. She has some pretty great friends as well, both at home, and the new ones she meets along the way. And, of course, Lincoln is totally awesome as well.

The storyline for this contemporary novel was fun and very entertaining. (I am a sucker for contemporary novels, so this book was right up my alley. *wink*) While the book had a few serious moments in it, it was mainly a really light-hearted read. I loved the summer setting, and though it's not the summer Anise expected to have at the beach, Nebraska still sounds pretty cool. All the descriptions of Anise's home in California totally made me want to BE at the beach. It sounds like an awesome place to live. Laura did a great job with the descriptions.

Overall; Girl Out of Water was an interesting summer themed read, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to check it out! Definitely add this to your TBR if you're in the mood for a fun summer read.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My Thoughts: Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman
(Blackhearts #2)
by Nicole Castroman
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Publication Date: April 11th 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781481491051
Genre: Young Adult | Historical | Pirates
Source: Netgalley

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Nicole Castroman brings the dangerous pirate ports of the Caribbean to life in this vibrant sequel to Blackhearts—the reimagined origin story of history’s most infamous pirate, Blackbeard.

Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.

Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands.

Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Last year I had the pleasure of reading Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman, and I really enjoyed the story. There are seriously not enough pirate books in my life, and I can't quite seem to get enough of the ones that are! So, of course, I absolutely couldn't wait to read Blacksouls, the much anticipated sequel to Blackhearts. While the first book had really been a pre-pirate novel, this book HAS ALL THE PIRATES!! And that made me so, so happy.

There are so many characters in this book that I love; many we know from the first book, like Anne, who is a very headstrong young lady whom I absolutely love, as well as Teach, aka, the young Blackbeard. But we're also introduced to a lot of new characters as well, so many that it would take me a while to name them all. But with the good, comes the bad, and there are a few characters you're absolutely going to hate. There are two new characters, in particular, that I want to know SO much more about. One is a girl, and one is a guy, and BOTH ARE PIRATES. ARGH! haha! Read the book and meet them for yourself. You totally won't regret it. *wink*

As I mentioned above, I'm a pretty big fan of pirate stories. Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough in my collection, so when I do have the chance to read one, I go in with pretty high expectations. Blacksouls was awesome. There was definitely a lot more action and pirate-y content than what was in the first book. While there were some slow parts, there were also some that had me holding my breath at times when the suspense almost killed me. The setting for the book was completely different than the first as well. Nassau is a far different world from the England that Anne was so used to, and life in there was brutal. And I mean so brutal. It was definitely a different world than in the first book.

The book ends in a way to where I assume that there will be a third book, but I couldn't find any information on it. I really hope that there is one, so I can continue along on this adventure with Anne, Teach and the rest of their crew!

Overall; I really enjoyed reading Blacksouls! It was an interesting sequel to Blackhearts, and I'm super curious to see where the story is going to go next. Now I totally feel the need to binge watch ALL the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, because, you know.. pirates. *wink*

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sarah Dessen Readathon: This Lullaby
This Lullaby
by Sarah Dessen
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Publication Date: first published May 27th 2002
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780142501559
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Own

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She's got it all figured out.

Or does she? When it comes to relationships, Remy's got a whole set of rules.

Never get too serious. Never let him break your heart. And never, ever date a musician.

But then Remy meets Dexter, and the rules don't seem to apply anymore.

Could it be that she's starting to understand what all those love songs are about?

My Thoughts...

This Lullaby is the next book on the list for my Sarah Dessen Readathon, and I’m super excited to read this book again. This Lullaby was the first book that I ever read by Sarah, and I read it many, many years ago, so a lot of the details from the book are super fuzzy in my mind. I'm excited to have the opportunity to read the story again!

As I mentioned above, I read This Lullaby a while back, in 2009 actually, and it was the first book I read by Sarah. I expected the story to come flashing back in my mind as I started reading the book, but it didn’t. That was totally ok with me, however, as it felt like I was getting a chance to read the story like it was a new-to-me read, and I liked that. Some details I did remember, like Dexter, who is hard to forget, but a lot I had forgotten. (Easily done, considering how many books I read in a year!)

Remy was an interesting main character to follow, and I definitely found her to be really relatable. People in the story saw her as a b-tch in the beginning of the story, but she proves as the story goes along that she’s anything but that. I appreciate her need for independence and such. I get it, Remy. Dexter, Remy’s love interest in the story, was definitely the highlight of the book for me, as a lot of Sarah’s leading males are. He made me sigh more than a few times throughout the book; he was just so, so sweet. Why aren’t more guys like Dexter? There are many more interesting secondary characters in the story, including Remy’s family and friends. I love the friendship she had with them all, especially with her friends.

The storyline for the book was, like most of Sarah’s books, relatable and completely engrossing. There’s just something about Sarah’s books that are so comforting to me, I can start a story and become completely engrossed. That’s exactly what happened with This Lullaby. It was set in the summer as well, which I loved, since summer is quickly approaching. Altogether, the characters, setting and storyline made for a really great read.

Overall; I really, really enjoyed re-reading This Lullaby, especially as I read it so long ago, and it felt like reading the book again for the first time. I really enjoyed the book, and I’m not excited to move on to The Truth About Forever, which I actually read last year for the readalong that Penguin Teen hosted, and it ended up being one of my most favorite books by her. I’m super excited to dive into it again!

My Thoughts: Meg and Linus by Hanna Nowinski
Meg & Linus
by Hanna Nowinski

Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781250098603
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Review Copy

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Can friendship, Star Trek, drama club, and a whole lot of coffee get two nerdy best friends through the beginning of their senior year of high school?

Meg and Linus are best friends bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. It’s not always easy to be the nerdy lesbian or gay kid in a suburban town. But they have each other. And a few Star Trek boxed sets. They're pretty happy.

But then Sophia, Meg’s longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg. Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny—and Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. But Linus isn’t so sure Danny even likes guys, and maybe Sophia isn't quite as out of the picture as Meg thought she was. . . .

From crowdsourced young adult imprint Swoon Reads comes Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski, a fun friendship story about two quirky teens who must learn to get out of their comfort zones and take risks—even if that means joining the drama club, making new friends, and learning how to stand on your own. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

To be completely honest, the first thing that drew me to Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski was the absolutely adorable cover. (I can’t help it, I adore a good cover.) Then I read the summary for the book, and knew that it was something that I needed to read. This book was super cute; a diverse story of love and friendship. I really enjoyed reading it!

In the story we follow Meg and Linus, who happen to be the bestest nerdy friends ever, through the first half of their senior year of high school. The story is told from the alternate perspectives of Meg, who just broke up with her long-time girlfriend, and Linus, who is experiencing his first ever crush on the new boy Danny. I really enjoyed reading the story from the alternative perspectives, as Linus was absolutely adorable experiencing his first crush ever, and my heart completely went out to Meg as she learned to cope with her breakup. I love these two characters, and their friendship was something super special. There were a lot of really great secondary characters as well.

The storyline for the book was super cute. It was about friendship, and being nerdy, and first loves and losses. But mostly it was about the friendship between Meg and Linus, which was great, and had its ups and downs just like everything in life. And I love that while the story had swoon-worthy moments for the characters, it was mainly about their friendship. There should definitely be more books in the world like this!

Overall; Meg & Linus was a super cute read, and I’m glad I was able to fit it into my TBR this month! I’m super curious to read more by Hanna Nowinski in the future! Do check out Meg and Linus for a super cute, diverse story of love and friendship!!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Week in Review • Week 16

Hey, Bookworms!!
Has this weekend been really great, or what??
Yesterday was Earth Day, and today is WORLD BOOK DAY!!
I looooove days where we get to celebrate the Earth, AND books.

Here's what I've been up to this week!!

This week I read two review books, the first was Fireworks by Katie Cotugno, which you can see my thoughts for here, and also Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski, which I'm hoping to have my thoughts up for soon.

I also read Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen, which is book 2 in her Sarah Scribbles series. I love these graphic books SO much. They are so very relatable. If you haven't read them, do it.

I also read This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen for my Sarah Dessen Readathon! I can't believe that I'm actually keeping up with this readathon. Usually I'm waaaay behind by now, but I'm actually keeping up! (It helps that the books are just SO good as well!)

I also re-read To All The Boys I've Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, to refresh my brain before Always and Forever, Lara Jean is released next month. I'm SO excited for the new book now, I can't hardly stand it!

This week I managed to squeeze in two movies, the first being The Boss Baby, which was SO cute and the kids really loved it, and the second being Before Sunrise, which I watched with  my book club girls and had never seen before.

I'm still behind on ALL the shows I've been watching recently, but I'm hoping to get caught up on those soon.

Not much else has been going on lately, thanks to my super overwhelming TBR. Haha! Six books in one week wasn't bad at all, but I'm still a bit behind, unfortunately. I am, however, almost completely caught up on my April TBR, I believe. Which is a good thing, because I *really* need to get started on my May TBR, which I am kind of dreading. ALL THE BOOKS COME OUT IN MAY!! Haha!

That's all for me this week, I suppose, so...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sarah Dessen Readathon: Dreamland
by Sarah Dessen
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Publication Date: September 1st 2000 (first published)
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 250
ISBN: 9780142401750
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Own

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Love can be a very dangerous thing.

After her sister left, Caitlin felt lost.

Then she met Rogerson.

When she's with him, nothing seems real.

But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Dreamland is the fourth book in my list to read for my Sarah Dessen Readathon, and it's one of the few books by Sarah that I've not yet read. To be honest, I've actually started to read this book in the past, and have promptly put it aside. For a reason. I know it deals with abuse, and books dealing with abuse tend to make me very angry. But, I wanted to read the book for this readathon, so I decided to dive in. I'm glad I did, as I can now finally mark it off the list of books I've read by Sarah.

I've read a lot of books lately where I've really been able to connect and relate to the main character, and this book was no exception. I totally get where Caitlyn was coming from regarding her parents and her sister, and I totally get why she did some of the things that she did. Been there, done that. And while I've never experienced firsthand the abuse that Caitlyn went through in the story, I do know someone close who has, so I instantly picked up on the signs from Rogerson. Maybe it's the overprotective parent in me as well, but I just know to watch for these things. It made me SO mad that no one around Caitlyn could see it. Seriously, I wanted to shout at everyone to OPEN THEIR EYES and see what is going on with this girl! Argh. This made me SO angry for her.

I knew going into Dreamland that the storyline for the book would be a lot darker than I am used to by Sarah. I totally prepared for this. I'm really astonished at how much darker it was. And though the storyline made me so angry, I'm also glad that books like this exist in the world, so that maybe someone reading the book is experiencing the same thing as Caitlyn will be able to relate. I wanted SO badly for Caitlyn to just talk to SOMEONE, to tell them what she was going through. There are people out there to help! No one should have to go what she went through.


Overall; Dreamland was a hard book to read, but I'm so glad I finally did. I'm totally going to have both of my girls read it asap. Now I'm moving on to the next book on my list, This Lullaby, which I have read before, but I am super excited to read again!! :)

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