Monday Missions #15…On a Tuesday!

And in blog form instead of vlog!

I was feeling kind of lazy between blogging and working yesterday so I never got to Monday Missions. Now today, look I have dirty hair and I’m kind of sloppy looking after binge reading so I decided that instead of just ignoring the Monday Missions period, health I would do it in blog form.

For those of you who don’t know what the Monday Missions is, treat its a weekly vlog that my dear friend Daisy created on her YouTube channel The Thousand Lives of Daisy. Every week, you come up with your weekly TBR list. On mine, I talk about the books I wanted to read, what I actually read and what I hope to read this week.

Let’s jump in!

What I Wanted to Read: 

The Iron Trial

The Indigo Spell 

The Fiery Heart

What I Actually Read: 

The Indigo Spell 

8709526

I continued my reread of the Bloodlines series in anticipation of today’s release of Silver Shadows!

The Fiery Heart

9833184

Ditto

The Giver 

8309278

I knew I would have to reread this soon because of the movie and so I decided to do so. AND I finished it in about an hour haha.

The Iron Trial 

13608989

I was about halfway through this and I needed to finish it. So I did!

What I Want to Read: 

Silver Shadows

8709524

This came out today! AGH!

Heir of Fire

20613470

I’ve had this ARC since ALA last month and I’ve finally ready to dive into it. Its SO huge but I’m ready for it.

Atlantia 

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I’ve had this one as well since ALA and its a standalone which is something I really need in my life. I can’t wait to read this.

*      *       *      *      *     *

What are you reading this week? Make sure to share in the comments!

Book Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

13574417Genre: 

Young Adult, physician Science Fiction, recipe Romance

Pages: 

344

Part of a Series?:

Yes. The second book, pills  Invaded, is due to hit bookstores in February 0f 2015

Release Date: 

February 4th, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

My Review:

This is pretty much exactly how I felt as soon as I finished this book. And let me say this: I finished the book at 4 am. After starting it about midnight. I FLEW through this book. I had honestly never heard of it, until my friend, Sasha, started recommending it on her instagram and it kept popping up, and I thought, this is something that I have to read in the future. Flashforward to ALA last weekend, and I saw it on a stand and immediately ran to it. I asked the Disney-Hyperion book if they were giving it away and they weren’t BUT Melissa Landers was doing a signing of Invaded, which is the second book. She was SO incredibly sweet and I knew that I was lucky to get my hands on a copy, especially signed. So I went out yesterday and purchased Alienated and proceeded to burst my way through it.

Way to go, Melissa Landers. Seriously. Way to go.

When I first started reading it, it reminded me almost instantaneously of the short-lived CW show, Star-Crossed. Aliens come to earth, peacefully, but humans get a little wigged out, and there’s violent protest groups and a new exchange program is created in order to foster a healthier alliance between the humans and the aliens. Intergalactic relationships ensue. I admit, that threw me off a bit. Not that I thought either had copied each other or anything, just that it seemed similar and I am mourning the loss of StarCrossed and I’m mourning being able to see Matt Lanter with his sexy Atrian tattoos and v-necks shirts that show off his beautiful arms and chest…

I’m getting off topic. The point is, that threw me for a loop when I read the first 50 pages or so, and those 50 pages were the slowest ones that I read. But once I was hooked into the story, that was it. I fell madly in love with the story and the characters.

First off, the characters. I adore Cara. I mean, her name is similar to mine so sometimes when Aelyx was saying “Cah-ra”, I admit I was imagining him saying, “Sah-ra”. Seriously. That was going down. But I adore Cara. I love how she progresses through the novel. She wants nothing to do with the exchange program when she first is recruited for it, not because she dislikes the L’eihr but because she’s so driven and she has other things on her plate. But as the story continues and her friendship and relationship with Aelyx blooms, her motives changes. She gets stronger, more passionate, she really comes into her ideas and opinions and sticks to her guns. Its incredible to watch her go through that. She falls in love and becomes a better person for it, and I love that. I think the same could be said for Aelyx as well. He comes to earth with a less than welcoming plan in his mind, and he has no desire to integrate with the humans. He’s a robot, thinks emotions are overrated, gets disgusted by human affection and thinks pizza and chocolate is gross. But his time on earth, and especially his time with Cara, begins to break that shell, and while Cara falls slowly in love with him, so do you, as the reader.  The changes in Aelyx as the story goes on is incredible, and that’s truly a mark of a good character.

Then you have the story itself, which breathes so easily through the book. It feels so familiar and yet so fantastical at the same time. You have this familiar world of school, cars, ipods, computers, blogs, McDonalds but there’s something different to it: the aliens, the L’eihrs. They are like humans in so many ways, but not at the same time. They all look the same, wear the same uniforms, eat the same foods, and are way more advanced than the people on Earth. They want to make an alliance with Earth, but you can’t quite figure out why, and you can’t quite figure out why Aelyx and his friends want to ruin it. There’s so much mystery to the L’eihrs and you want to know more. The more that Cara discovers about them, the more than you crave for more information. There’s a beautiful romance (which I’ll get to in a second) building but there’s more than that. These two characters come from vastly different worlds that have collided and its a recipe for disaster and you’re just waiting for it to explode.

And lastly, the romance. Its been awhile since I read a book where the romance blew me away like this one did. I had butterflies and my heart beat fast, and I blushed and I fell in love with both of the characters as they fell in love with each other. Melissa Landers writes such a subtle, beautiful romance and that’s what I loved about it. It happens so slowly but then suddenly, its right in front of your face. Like its been there all along but it took them, and you, the entire time to figure it out. Its beautiful and I can’t wait to see more of it in Invaded.

Look, I’ve literally written the longest review ever. Seriously. This review is ridiculously long. I didn’t mean that. I’m sorry. But I truly loved this book and I can’t wait to dive into book two. I am blown away by Melissa’s book and I am now officially a fan. I wish I had spent more time talking to her at ALA but I didn’t know. Now I do, and I’m a fan. This book is a knockout!

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

I don’t give out 5 out of 5s easily, so take my word for it, SERIOUSLY, read this book :)

Book Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

13112869Genre: 

Young Adult, sick  Dystopian? Survival? Awesome?

Pages: 

320

Part of a Series?:

Yes. The second book, In a Handful of Dust, releases September 26th

Release Date: 

September 24th, 2013

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

My Review:

Back in September of 2013, one fantasy author that I’m massively addicted, Rae Carson, was touring for the very last book in her trilogy. And the closest she was getting to California was Las Vegas. Now LV is only a four hour drive from me. Its not that far. So I convinced my dad, brother and boyfriend to go on a mini road trip to go and meet Rae.

And it was way totally worth it.

But there was another author at the event that completely stuck out to me, and that was Mindy McGinnis. She was funny and fresh, and she was a debut novelist and that always jumps out at me. Plus, her story was about survival, and the inkling beginning thoughts of The Awakened were in my mind at the time, so everything about her stood out.

That was back in September and it took me THIS LONG to get my hands on this book. I don’t know why but it did. Thank you to Michelle, who was my Secret Beach Read Buddy, for sending this to me. I immediately opened it up, ready to dive in and I soaked it all up in less than 3 hours.

I LOVE this book. I loved the main character, Lynn, right off the bat. There was something about her that just makes you immediately like her. She’s not really familiar. She’s been raised such a different way than any of us have ever been raised. She’s been raised to survive, nothing else, but she has real feelings and you can tell that she wishes for more than just constant survival. The entry of others in her life, especially Lucy, really brings out more and more of Lynn than just survival and I love watching her journey. I love watching her give in, and fall in love with others. She’s only have known her mother, so it was beautiful to watch her discover the world through other’s eyes.

I also just loved the survival part of the story. It felt so real. My science fiction is science fiction. There is a virus, and reanimated corpses and everything about my novel feels kind of…out of this world. Not possible. Not this novel. The idea that water will run out, and it’ll become something to ration, to protect, to fight for is not exactly far fetched. I live in Southern California, trust me, I know all about droughts. I mean, sure, I can pop down to Ralph’s and pick up a 24 pack of purified water at any time, but how long will that last and what would we do, who would we sacrifice in order to survive? Mindy tackles that sort of world in this book and its incredibly compelling. I kept turning the pages because I just didn’t know what was going to happen next. Lynn’s world was a day by day struggle and you could lose anyone, anything, on one given day, and its addicting. Its full of so much tension but also laughter at the same time. It is full of so much human spirit and I just love it.

What I think I love the most about it though is that Mindy is just a terrific writer. She tells such a great story, from beginning to end, and that is just awesome. While In a Handful of Dust is a sequel, its also sort of companion as well. Not a Drop to Drink has a beginning, middle and end and I love that. I don’t think a lot of authors can accomplish that, and yet write a second book that must be read right NOW (the sequel is currently sitting on my Nook in e-galley format and I’m dying to return to it right now…). I think it deserves a ton of applause and praise because I was massively impressed by that.

Okay, now I have to go because In a Handful of Dust is calling my name and I also have to pack for ALA, which I haven’t done yet so…bye now. Basically, this book is amazing. Fresh, new, full of a ton of likable and kickass (in more than just physical ways) characters and the story will have you turning the pages frantically.

Plus, Eli? Be still, my heart! I am massively in love with him and my heart hurts. That’s all I’ll say!

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Weekly Fangirl Round-Up

Nerd Girl News

Suddenly, this I feel like a kid again: the Captain Underpants movie is heading to theaters this January!

For a limited time, ed the pilot episode of Delirium, the TV show based on Lauren Oliver’s novel, will be available for viewing on Hulu.

Oh yes, more The Maze Runner stills have been released. You can NEVER go wrong with that.

Rumors are abound that Jason Momoa is slated to appear as Aquaman in the upcoming Batman vs Superman movie.

A release date for the adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG has been announced! My childhood heart is so happy!

 

The Teen Choice Awards nominees are out, and YA movie adaptations seem to be ruling! Get your vote on!

Check out the first official promo poster for Insurgent!

New UK trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy has been released.

Get your first look of Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in this newly released still!

New poster featuring Chloe Moretz in If I Stay has surfaced!

Lionsgate releases new district propaganda posters in anticipation for Mockingjay!

Black Widow Film Possibly in the Works?

The Amazing Spider Man 2 DVD/Blu-Ray gets a release date!

Lunar Chronicles fans! Marissa Meyer has written a prequel of sorts, all about the deliciously evil Queen Levana!

Check out the full winner’s list from the Critic’s Choice Awards!

Here you are, YA fans, the official synopsis for the movie adaptation of The DUFF.

Check out some first looks at the new Disney series, The Descendants!

The Powerpuff Girls are returning in a whole new series, coming in 2016!

Han Solo down! Han Solo down! Harrison Ford suffers an injury on set that sidelines him for TWO whole months :(

Rupert Grint, known for playing Ron Weasley, will be making the jump to Broadway! Yay!

The new additions to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are opening July 7th, check out some pictures from the grand opening preview!

Star Wars: Episode 8 has a director; find out who it is!

Get ready, Legend of Korra fans! Season 3 is coming and sooner than you thought!

Posts and Vlogs

Monday Missions #10

Tuesday Top Ten: Reasons I Love Being a Blogger

Leigh Bardugo’s Ruin and Rising Launch Party at The Last Bookstore!

Book Review: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

Book Review: Parallel by Lauren Miller

Book Review: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Book Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Book Review: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

12049227Genre: 

Young Adult, this Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

235

Part of a Series?:

No

Release Date: 

May 8th, 2012

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her. 

Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn’s last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn . . . and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn–but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

My Review:

I love a good road trip book. I feel like I’ve been reading a lot of those lately so maybe this is something that I’ve been wanting to read. I love the idea of getting into a car, ready for an adventure and coming back with all these stories and with a sense of change in you. It makes me think of summer. It makes me think of possibilities. The idea of a road trip is very…romantic and adventurous to me. I’ve never actually been on one before so there’s that too.

I think that Jessi tells a sweet, and emotional story and I loved every minute of it. Honor is a really fun character, fumbling, and unsure, but you watch her find her footing as the novel continues on and I think that’s great. It goes along with that idea of change and growing on a road trip. I love that. I think that Rusty is quite annoying at first, but he grows on you, slowly, until you suddenly find yourself madly in love with him and you’re wondering how the hell you reached that point.

What I liked the most about this book was how real it felt. The death of her brother, her struggle with dealing with it, the emotions she felt for the people she came to meet on her death, the way she falls in love. It all feels so real and I think that’s what Jessi Kirby manages to do in all of her books. She creates this beautiful adventure in a grounded sense of reality and some days, that’s exactly what I need.

In the end, the thing that really got me the most was the relationship between Honor and her brother. Though her brother is dead as soon as you read page one, you get a great sense of what their relationship was like before his death. I have a thing for sibling stories. I have three younger brothers and two younger sisters, and a sort of brother-in-law and sister-in-law (My boyfriend and I aren’t married but after nearly 7 years, you start to think of his siblings as yours), and I love all of them immensely and I love the dynamic of the sibling relationship. I think Jessi does it beautifully and I got pulled into the story because of it, definitely.

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

18602289Genre: 

Young Adult, approved  Dystopian, Futuristic

Pages: 

469

Part of a Series?:

No

Release Date: 

May 13th, 2012

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness? What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?

What if you never had to fall?

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results. Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school. Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

My Review:

I was really excited when I received Free to Fall for review. I had heard good things about Lauren Miller from her novel “Parallel” and she was going to be a guest author at the Ontario Teen Book Fest so I was high in anticipation when reading this book. I was roughly half way through the book when I met Lauren, and she was so smart and so fun to talk to that I went home almost immediately to finish it.

I think what really gets me about all of this is that it felt so real to me. While Lauren’s novel takes place in the future, its not that far into the future and it is almost sort of warning of what is to come. Lux, the app that everyone uses on their phone, is like Siri on crack. I have Siri on my own phone but I must admit, I barely use it. Lux literally determines every movement of your day. It speaks in your own voices, tells you which bus to take when, what path is the wrong one, what coffee drink you should order, everything. It literally decides everything for you, and everyone trusts it blindly. I am getting shivers just thinking about it. For me, it felt so incredibly real.

I love that it was more than that though. The story could have been shallow, just a commentary on technology but it was so much more than that. Without going into too many spoilers, the more that we learn about Lux and the company behind it, the more that I felt the need to keep turning the pages. The mystery behind that and the mystery behind Rory herself was addicting. First, we’re on a roller coaster, trying to figure Rory out, and the next, we’re in the passenger seat while she unwinds the mystery of Lux. Its completely thrilling and terrifying. Everything that happens in this book seems so real, and terrifying and that’s what makes this SO good.

I also highly applaud Lauren Miller for accomplishing such a story in one novel. I honestly wish that other authors, myself, included could do that more often. It takes a lot to accomplish building up a story, and wrapping it up, in one book, especially in the sort of complicated story that she writes. Plus it makes it so much easier to move on to my ever growing list of books to read without having to worry about a sequel! I loved that! I think it takes a lot of talent to tell a complete story like in such a quick and perfect way.

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars