2 In WWW

WWW – May 9, 2018 Edition

Hey there innertubers, it’s Wednesday, and we all know what that means – it’s time for WWW! Which I will always and forever call “Whatcha Wreading Wednesday” in my head, and you can’t stop me.

This beautiful gem of a weekly post is brought to you by Taking on a World of Words, and on this blessed and hallowed day, we answer three questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

The House on Harbor Hill by Shelly Stratton – this is not the type of book I’d normally instinctively reach for, but it’s last month’s Once Upon a Book Club book, which means I get to open presents like Christmas morning while reading this one. I don’t typically put in a blurb for WWW posts, but this is not a popular book, so here it goes:

“She’s generous, kind, and compassionate–yet Delilah Grey will forever be an outcast in the small seaside town of Camden Beach, Maryland. She takes in women shattered by abuse, poverty, illness, or events beyond their control. But no matter how far she’s come or how many she’s helped find their way back, there is no safe place for Delilah. Acquitted of her rich husband’s mysterious death decades ago, she lives in her beautiful mansion consumed by secrets–and mistakes she feels she can never atone for. . . . Until she takes in desperate mother Tracey Walters and her two young children.

Tracey won’t say where she’s from or what sent her into hiding. But her determination and refusal to give up reminds Delilah of the spirited, hopeful girl she once was–and the dreams she still cherishes. As Tracey takes tentative steps to rebuild her life, her unexpected attraction to Delilah’s handsome, troubled caretaker inadvertently brings Delilah face to face with the past. And when Tracey’s worst fears come brutally calling, both women must find even more strength to confront truths they can no longer ignore–and at last learn how to truly be free.”

 

What did you recently finish reading?

The perennial favorite, A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas. My review of this bad boy will be up tomorrow, but I can safely say I very much enjoyed it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I never, never, never have a solid answer for this question, but I pursue WWW posts each week in the naive hopes that I’ll figure this one out eventually. Anyway, I think I am going to break my own tradition (I never read series close together) and pick up A Court of Mist and Fury next.

What’s on your WWW list? Talk to me down below!

 

3 In Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (as always, hosted by the inimitable Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl) should have been pretty easy for me, but the fact of the matter is that I can’t commit to a favorite color for too long. It tends to be purple, but some days it’s pink, and it’s been known to dip into greens and blues. Basically, I didn’t feel “right” doing just one color this week, so instead I figured I’d make a rainbow out of some of my favorite books!

It was hard to choose for a couple of these colors – there are a lot of red book covers! And surprisingly few green ones – I had to go through my “read” shelf on GoodReads a few times before I realized Stalking Jack the Ripper was green. Overall I am quite pleased with my results though!

What about you? I’d love to take a look at your color project for the week, link me below!

1 In Review

Review: Copycat by Hannah Jayne

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Copycat by Hannah JayneCopycat by Hannah Jayne
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 3, 2018
Pages: 288
Goodreads
three-stars

Everyone is dying to read the latest book in the popular Gap Lake mystery series, and Addison is no exception. As the novels biggest fan, Addison is flattered when the infamously reclusive author, R.J. Rosen, contacts her, granting her inside information others would kill for. But when the most popular girl in Addison's high school is murdered, Addison can't help but think that life may be imitating fiction. And as other terrifying events from the book start happening around her, Addison has to figure out how to write her own ending -and survive the story.

Addison is 100% obsessed with the book series Gap Lake: a twisty, soap opera-esque trail through a summer camp, stalked by Michael Meyers’ younger, less cute brother. Teen slasher film: the book series, essentially. Addie is deeply invested in Gap Lake, and runs the most popular fan site (GapLakeLove – snappy title there Adds), writing fan fiction and theorizing with her friends and followers about what plot points might come next. And then, one day, it all goes to hell.

I had such high hopes for this book. Its premise is unique and very interesting, especially for a book written for 15-16 year olds. It’s fast-paced, snappy, and I honestly didn’t see 100% of the twist coming. But that wasn’t, unfortunately, enough to save it from the depths of Gap Lake.

Rating: 

How I’d Describe This Book to A Friend

One day, Addie receives an email from the author of Gap Lake, RJ Rosen. She is elated to discover that RJ has stumbled upon her website and loves what she is doing, how she’s engaging with the fans. And even better, he wants her to help host a blog tour for his upcoming new release! He sends her a chapter to post, and Addison excitedly obeys, gushing to her best friend Maya (whose parents are both cops, a fact that will be drilled into your head at least 10-12 times during your tenure in this book) about how lucky she is! Maya, meanwhile, just wants Addie to find an actual boyfriend and crawl out of the shadows to get some sun. Not happening.

Addie receives a message from RJ Rosen one day after school, telling her there is a surprise in store for her. Addie, who could not get more excited if she tried, careens into the journalism room with Maya, talking about how amazing this opportunity is. Sitting there, folded into a desk with her head on her hands, smelling faintly of standing water and very much not alive, is the star cheerleader: Lydia.

Some surprise, huh?

It takes off from there – Addie realizes that this murder is very reminiscent of the plot of a Gap Lake novel – unfortunately, everyone is so tired of her babbling about Gap Lake that nobody wants to listen. Good thing Maya’s parents are cops you guys! Except they don’t wanna hear it either. RJ Rosen becomes creepier and creepier, and Addie struggles against time and this faceless killer to unmask him before another life is taken – namely, her own.

Unfortunately, the last 15% or so of this book manages to go off the rails, and not in a fun way. Things wrap up in too neat, too perfect a little bow for such an epic shitstorm of a situation Addison, her friends and family have gotten into. Were it not for that, I’d have really enjoyed this book.

The Bottom Line

Addison is lovable, though neurotic and a little bit paranoid (understandably). Maya is a force to be reckoned with, and I really enjoyed her snappy comebacks and personality shining through. Everyone else just sort of exists, as a love interest or a disinterested parent. As I said above, this would all be forgivable were it not for this utter disaster of a final 15%. I had such high hopes for you, Copycat – you were so close!

But at least Maya’s parents are cops, so it’s not a total loss.

three-stars
0 In Review

Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah PekkanenThe Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen, Julia Whelan
Published by Macmillan Audio on January 9, 2018
Pages: 12
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
five-stars

When you listen to this audiobook, you will make many assumptions.You will assume you are listening to a story about a jealous ex-wife.You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.Assume nothing.
Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
Listen for the truth between the lies.

I spend much of my adult life trying to chase the high I found when I initially purchased and read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl back when it was a new release. To date, I have come across a multitude of mediocrities, but a couple of heavy-hitters as well. (Cheers to you, The Flight Attendant and Big Little Lies). So when I saw that this book was somehow netting an obscene amount of praise, I gritted my teeth and used an Audible credit on it, not expecting much. But holy cow, talk about a book blowing you out of the water.

Rating: 

How I’d Describe This Book to a Friend

The Wife Between Us is told in dual perspective: we hear from Vanessa, the wife in question who comes between “us.” Vanessa is seemingly obsessed with her ex-husband Richard’s new fiance, and spends most of her chapters reflecting on her time spent with Richard – how good things had been, how happy she’d felt with him. She wants to warn this new woman away from him, wants to get rid of her. We figure that if Vanessa can’t have him, nobody can. Her replacement is slimmer, younger, healthier in every way. She is absolutely gorgeous, and it makes Vanessa sick – she’s not eating, she’s not sleeping, she’s barely able to keep her retail job. She is a shell of a woman, and we pity her, but also don’t want her anywhere near this poor fiance of Richard’s.

Our other perspective is from Nelly, the fiancee in question. Nelly is a preschool teacher, obsessed with healthy eating and in love with her job teaching 3 year olds and waitressing in her spare time. Nelly lives in a tiny, cramped apartment with her best friend Sam and can’t believe her luck that Richard loves her – her! – and that he’s bought them a house in the suburbs to move to, and her a new cell phone, all-new everything. She’ll never have to work again. It’s the most magical setup in the world and she feels like a princess. But she also feels as if she’s being watched …

Never forget, appearances can be deceiving.

The Bottom Line

I want to gush about this book further, but the fact of the matter is that the more I say, the more it’ll ruin this one for you. I will say this much: the audiobook narrator is fantastic, and really draws you in. The two narrators have distinct, different voices, and one speaks in first person, the other in third – there is no issue telling apart who is who. Let it just suffice for me to tell you that I absolutely adored this book, and anything these two ladies put out again in the future will be on my insta-buy list. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Vanessa, Nelly and Richard – I hope you do, too.

 

“I was happy, I think, but I wonder now if my memory is playing tricks on me. If it is giving me the gift of an illusion. We all layer them over our remembrances; the filters through which we want to see our lives.”

five-stars
1 In WWW

WWW – May 2, 2018 Edition

Hey there innertubers, it’s Wednesday, and we all know what that means – it’s time for WWW! Which I will always and forever call “Whatcha Wreading Wednesday” in my head, and you can’t stop me.

This beautiful gem of a weekly post is brought to you by Taking on a World of Words, and on this blessed and hallowed day, we answer three questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I haven’t read this series before, so right now it’s A Court of Thorns & Roses for the first time! I’m 33% of the way in, and enjoying it well enough so far.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Copycat last night – I’ll have a review up soon, probably Friday. It was … uh. It had …

… anyway.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The House on Harbor Hill by Shelly Stratton – it’s the April Once Upon a Book Club book, and even though I have a huge TBR pile, OUABC books are like catnip to me because it’s just sitting on my counter surrounded by gifts to unwrap as I read along. So my monthly OUABC package always cuts in line in my TBR pile, and I am not even ashamed about it.

What are you reading this week? Let me know down below!

4 In Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I’d Slay A Lion to Get Early

First of all, lions are my favorite animal and I in no way endorse, cosign or green light any method of obtaining books that involves killing a majestic animal, metaphorically or otherwise.

That aside! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday – by the fabulous Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl – is the top ten books you’d slay a lion to get early. AKA: the top ten books that aren’t out yet that you are losing your mind waiting for.

In no particular order:

  1. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab – releasing 8/28/18
    I was taken in by the cat on the cover, I’ll freely admit it. But the premise looks amazing and I am slowly warming up to Schawb’s writing. I think this is a middle grade book(?) and that appeals to me, too.
  2. My Plain Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows – releasing 6/26/18
    “But you haven’t read the first one, Patricia?!” – I know. But I want to read it. It’s on my shelf. I want to read this one, too. I should probably put My Lady Jane toward the top of my TBR pile, huh …
  3. Broken Things by Lauren Oliver – releasing 10/2/18
    I don’t like Lauren Oliver’s dystopian YA foofoo romance nonsense, but I have loved all of her thrillers. This seems to be no exception.
  4. A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult – releasing 10/2/18
    I have preordered every single Jodi Picoult book since about 2007, and I don’t see this ever stopping any time soon. Jodi Picoult book release day is basically a national holiday in my eyes.
  5. Access Restricted by Gregory Scott Katsoulis – releasing 8/28/18
    I absolutely devoured the first book in this series – All Rights Reserved – last year. As someone who is tired of the dystopian YA formula, this book did not disappoint. It gave me a severe book hangover and I loved every minute of it. I can’t wait for this sequel.
  6. Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand – releasing 10/2/18
    I will be honest – I hated Furyborn. I mean I hated it. But the premise here looks amazing and I am hoping against all hope that she writes thrillers/”general” fiction better than fantasy.
  7. Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalo – releasing 9/18/18
    I really enjoyed the first book in this series – I own the second, but haven’t read it yet. I’m guessing if I haven’t sunk my teeth into Dracula (har har har?!) by August, I’ll need to be sure I do so before I get this one.
  8. The Wicked King by Holly Black – releasing 1/9/19
    Wow, I thought this was coming late this year. How rude! I did the audiobook for The Cruel Prince and it was unexpectedly amazing, so I will be preordering this one, but likely on Audible.
  9. Save the Date by Morgan Matson – releasing 6/5/18
    Morgan Matson is a seasonal book staple to me – it’s summer when a Morgan Matson and/or Sarah Dessen arrives in the mail. Am I particularly interested in this book? Not really. Will I read it anyway because it’s by Morgan Matson? Abso-freakin’-lutely.
  10. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – releasing 9/25/18
    I am not the biggest fan of retellings, but I read the premise of this one and I just couldn’t resist. This looks super fun.

What about you? Are any of these on your list? Let me know, and link me to your post down below!

2 In Wrap Up

April Wrap-Up & May TBR

I feel like I just did my March wrap-up last week, I don’t know where the Hell April went. But that means we’re one month closer to Fall, and everyone knows that’s the best season out of all of them. (We’re not going to talk about the Southern-fried hellscape summer looming before me).

I completed 7 books in April, which I will consider a victory since I spent an inordinate amount of the time I am normally reading panicking over Statistics. I have never been so glad to be finished with a final exam in my life.

 Pages Read: 2,397 – an average of 342 pages per book

 Average Rating: 4.1

 Least Favorite: Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Most Favorite: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendriks & Sarah Pekkanen (review coming Thursday)

I didn’t read as much as I did last month, but what I did read I enjoyed more – my average rating last month was 3.3, so this is a pretty good step up, I’d say.

My standard warning applies here, too: while I have a list of TBR books, I change my mind like Katy Perry changes her clothes. So this is a “most likely to” list, but not anything definitive!

 A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J Maas: This is a gimme because I am currently reading it but I am gonna count it anyway because it will be finished in May

 Whatever the April Once Upon a Book Club Book Is: I can usually guess based on the description we get off the website, but I have no idea this time. The boxes were shipped late this month, so I won’t get my hands on my April box until tonight. I am itching to read it – as I always am!! – so I’ll have to finish ACOTAR.

 Copycat by Jannah Jayne: This is my other gimmie because, once again, I’m already reading it. But this is an eARC for Netgalley and I am enjoying it so far.

 Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan: My other Netgalley must-read – I try so hard to only have 1-2 at a time “checked out” from Netgalley, but it’s hard! I feel like my books get “granted” in one fell swoop every time, LOL.

Beyond this, I truly have no idea. Legendary comes out May 29th so I’ll definitely read that, but I won’t get my hands on it until the month is basically over. What I will actually accomplish this month, who knows! I am temporarily free of grad school classes until May 22nd, so hopefully I can read even more than April.

What do you think? Come find me in the comments!

2 In Tag

The Mystery Blogger Award

I am proud to say I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Katie over at Pages & Pugs – she is one of my most favorite bloggers, and I was delighted to get nominated for this award!

The rules, should you choose to accept, are as follows:

  • Display award logo
  • List the rules
  • Thank the person that nominated you
  • Mention and link the award creator: Okoto Enigma
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 10-20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice

Three Things About Me

  1. I had the opportunity to skip a grade in elementary school, but my parents (wisely, in my opinion) turned it down
  2. My blog is covered in cats, but my favorite animals are lions and foxes
  3. I work full-time, but also attend night classes a couple of days a week to pursue my Masters of Public Administration

Answer the Questions From the Person Who Nominated You

1. Are you usually early or late?

I am either early, or right on time – if I have to be there at 8, I am there at 8:00 on the dot, or 7:30-7:45. There is no in-between.

2. What’s your favorite book genre?

I will always have a soft spot for young adult, but I also really enjoy domestic thrillers.

3. Where is the most relaxing place you’ve ever been?

There are a few ways I could go with this, but I think I’ll say Tampa, Florida in March. Perfect time of year to be warm in the sun but not too warm. I have great memories of sipping a rum punch on the patio, watching boats roll past.

4. Do you DNF or push through books you aren’t enjoying?

I don’t – I usually just skim read really, really fast. Even if I loathe the book, I want to know how it ends.

5. Other than all the blogs we follow and your own blog platform, what website do you spend the most time on?

Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook are probably my top 3 offenders.

Nominate 10-20 People

I am going to nominate 6 because I don’t have the time or energy to think of 20. Just keeping it real, you guys.

I nominate:

  1. Sara at A Gingerly Review
  2. Eva at Novel Deelights
  3. Amy at The Little Book Nerds
  4. Tina at Reading Between the Pages
  5. Jessica at Reading With Jessica
  6. Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl

5 Questions of My Choice

  1. What, in your opinion, is the best month of the year? Show your work.
  2. Which was your worst class during school?
  3. Who is the best Avenger?
  4. If you could have any Pokemon for a pet, which would it be?
  5. What are your optimal sleeping conditions? Temperature, number of pillows, blankets, pets, etc.

Thanks for the tag, Katie, and I really hope a few people take this and run with it, it was loads of fun!

2 In Review

Review: Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Review: Not If I Save You First by Ally CarterNot If I Save You First by Ally Carter
Published by Scholastic Press on March 27, 2018
Pages: 297
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
four-stars

Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president's son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie's dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.
No phone. No Internet. And not a single word from Logan.
Maddie tells herself it's okay. After all, she's the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full.Until Logan shows up six years later . . .And Maddie wants to kill him.
But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly. Maddie still really wants to kill Logan. But she has to save him first.

We all know the formula, right? Boy meets girl during childhood. Boy and girl grow apart as teenagers due to unforeseen circumstances. Boy and girl reunite and come back together when they are older and wiser, boy and girl make out, get married, have a baby, white picket fence, 1 1/2 dogs, whatever the case may be.

Maddie and Logan did meet as children, but that’s where the similarities end. Because Logan is the president’s son, and Maddie is his bodyguard’s daughter.

Rating

How I’d Describe This Book to a Friend

If you liked Gary Paulson’s Hatchet as a child but wish it had been a female lead, you’ll love this book. You’ll likely love this book no matter what, but people who grew up thriving on stuff like Hatchet and The Cay and Call of the Wild will really love this. Alaska seems to be prominent right now for some reason – Kristin Hannah’s most recent book is also set in Alaska, though the stakes there are very different. This makes me simultaneously want to never touch Alaska with a 10 foot pole and to go there right now and take it all in.

An almost-tragic attack on the White House when Maddie and Logan are ten years old spirals both of their lives out of line: Logan rebels in typical “son of the president” style, while Maddie’s father whisks her away to one of the most remote parts of Alaska where she learns to chop wood, set traps, catch and gut fish, all with her trusty bedazzled hatchet because let’s face it, a girl has to be both smart and fabulous.

Maddie has written Logan letters for years and years. She actually mailed them to him for the first two, but he never replied. She continued to write, but started to keep the letters to herself, almost like a diary. So when Maddie is sixteen years old, the last thing she expects is a helicopter to fly in with Logan on it, especially not Logan looking pretty good all these years later.

When a rogue Russian agent kidnaps Logan out from under Maddie while her father is away for the night, Maddie has no choice but to put on her five requisite layers of clothing and hunker down to go save her idiot ex, mostly so she can strangle him.

Maddie is a great heroine: she is witty, resourceful, and can take care of herself at sixteen better than many twenty-somethings I know. She knows what she’s doing, and she’ll tell you to your face if you’re wrong or try to stand in her way. She’s basically the Stephanie McMahon of the Alaskan wilderness.

Welcome to the queendom!

Logan is what keeps this from being a five star book for me, because he is kind of a wet blanket. He’s whiny, entitled, and just really hard to like. I wish I had more things to say about him, but generally he’s just the human embodiment of a shrugging emoji.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an interesting survival story with a badass lady in the lead, you’ll find it here. If you want to learn more about Russian spies and the Alaskan wilderness, look no further. If you want sappy insta-love with a wet blanket president’s son who is filed under “derp” in the dictionary … that’s here too, folks. Overall, a very engaging, interesting read and I’d recommend it to just about anyone who enjoys YA thrillers that aren’t your typical domestic/school setting.

 

“Dear Logan,

I’m sorry that the stupid Russians shot you.
Mainly because I really want to shoot you, and I hate that they beat me to it.

– Maddie”

 

four-stars
1 In WWW

WWW – April 25, 2018 Edition

Hey there innertubers, it’s Wednesday, and we all know what that means – it’s time for WWW! Which I will always and forever call “Whatcha Wreading Wednesday” in my head, and you can’t stop me.

This beautiful gem of a weekly post is brought to you by Taking on a World of Words, and on this blessed and hallowed day, we answer three questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

 

What are you currently reading?

Ally Carter’s Not If I Save You First (44% complete) as my “3D” book and Hannah Jayne’s Copycat as my “2D” ARC read via my Kindle app (12% complete).

 

What did you recently finish reading?

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi.

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am not 100% sure about this, because I am very much a mood reader and keep a 15-ish book TBR pile expressly so I can go pick up what appeals to me in the moment when I am finished with my current read. I get the feeling though that it will be Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody, though there’s a chance it may be A Court of Thorns & Roses, since I’ve got all 3 of those books on my shelf and haven’t so much as breathed near them.

How about you? What’s your WWW for the week? Let me know!