COYER Challenge

I was planning on doing my own personal Kindle challenge in 2016, but what better way to start then joining up with an already organized challenge?  I have so many ARCS sitting on my kindle that I never got to and now I have an excuse to read them.

With all the other books/challenges I plan to try I think I will try to get through 8-10 e-ARCS.

ChallengeBTBSignUp

The Clean Out Your E-Reads (COYER) Challenge is hosted by Fantasy is More Fun, Because Reading & Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! It lasts from December 19-March 4.

Here are the rules:

  • Read Your E-Reads! Every book you read must be in an electronic format – meaning E-Book or Audiobook. It’s okay to start a book before December 20th, you must be less than half way for it to count then review it during COYER.
  • The books must be FREE or NEARLY FREE! This includes library books, review books, tour books, NetGalley, Edelweiss, etc. What’s nearly free? No more than $5 for ebooks and no more than $16 for Audiobooks (or the equivalent in your currency).
  • Announce your participation! This can be a blog post (or if you don’t have a blog – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Booklikes, Goodreads, Shelfari, etc.) If you want to list books you would like to read, that’s great, but not necessary. The point is to let us know you’re committed to COYER, maybe share some goals, and help us spread the word.
  • Link up!.Link that post (not just your blog homepage)
  • Review & Link Reviews! Your review may be on your blog, Goodreads, Shelfari, Booklikes, etc. Link the review to the Review Linky (we will share this December 19th). We will randomly pick three review links to win a $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. All links must be entered by March 5, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST.
  • Visit Each Other, Chat & Have Fun!

Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.58.45 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 5.10.02 PM.png

 

Inherit The Stars

Inherit the Stars #1

Tessa Elwood

Publication: 12/8/2015

Source: Netgalley e-ARC

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.23.12 AM

I was provided with this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


 

Three royal houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.

Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family’s livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren’s life . . . possibly from the hands of their own father.

But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?

Author Tessa Elwood’s debut series is an epic romance at heart, set against a mine field of political machinations, space adventure, and deep-seeded family loyalties.


 

See that description?  Doesn’t it sound awesome? Interplanetary systems? Epic romance? SPACE ADVENDTURE??? Sounds like some good old fashion family funI was ready to be wowed

And if you expect to get that from this book, you would be very, very wrong.

Before I go on, I would just like to say that I’d like to give Inherit the Stars the benefit of the doubt It is possible that all of the problems I had with this were in fact due to it being an  e-ARC and that every thing will be fixed by the time it is published on December 8.

If that is true, then maybe I would raise my rating. Going based on what I read, however,  this book was a mess.  Inherit the Stars had a lot of potential to actually be a really interesting series and it failed in almost every aspect.

There is absolutely no backstory. We are thrown into a world and a fight that is never explained.  I have no idea what the Blight was or how it started.  I don’t understand the three families and their fight. I don’t understand their fuel shortage and that they live on a bunch of different planets but also own other planets???  I don’t even know why Asa seems to care more about Wren then Emmie (Although I can kind of guess because Emmie seems like a brat).

What is the Electorate?  Yeah I’m asking you because even though you haven’t read it you probably know the same amount about them as I do.  Why do these 3 families rule a bunch of planets?  Are they kings? Or is it more like A Song of Ice and Fire but with planets instead of the North and shit.  SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME.

On top of the fact that the whole plot is a jumble of scenes that I didn’t understand and weren’t explained to me the writing is also pretty bad.  The dialogue between the characters again is a mess.  I’d love to use some actual quotes but you know they say to check the quotes against the actual published copy and I’m not going anywhere near that.  Let me just say that even the dialogue is unintelligible.  It actually makes the story more confusing.

The characters were flat and boring or completely useless.  Asa was an idiot, Eagle was a bit of a douche, and Emmie was a brat.  There is instalove (well kind of.  It happens at the end but it comes out of no where  Asa had barely mentioned her feelings for Eagle and then all of a sudden she is proclaiming her love for him).

Also NOTHING HAPPENS IN SPACE except for them flying?  This is not what I expect when I hear the words “Space Adventure”.

And then it just ends.  I think it is the start of a series but it literally just ended. It didn’t even really have a  cliffhanger. It was like the end of the Sopranos. Just Boom. Done.

Basically this book is just a bunch of words thrown together that make no sense and you should probably avoid it. But who knows? Maybe all this is fixed by the time it is published but I kind of doubt it.

Follow Friday

FF_2013Button-300x300

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

Honestly, I’m just starting out in the blogging world and I have a lot to learn.  What better way to learn than to find a bunch of new blogs to follow and meet other book bloggers?  I’m not really big on other forms of social media, so I thought this would be a good idea to put myself out there!

Here are the Rules for Follow Friday

1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts and any one else you want to follow on the list

2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Question of the Week:  If you could teleport into ANY story, which would you chose? – Suggested by Life Is Reading
Well, obviously I would love to live in the HP universe, but since everyone probably agrees, I’ll also add that I think I would like to live in The Percy Jackson world.  Having a Greek or Roman God for a parent might be nice!  And because I just finished the series, I’d like to live in the Lunar Chronicles World Post-Winter.
Thanks for checking out my blog! If you have any advice please feel free to tell me!

 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.58.45 PM

There are some books I just can’t even think about reviewing. The Harry Potter series, A Song Of Ice and Fire series, etc. Basically if I love it too much I just can’t form the words. I’ve been having a problem writing my review for Winter, by Marissa Meyer, probably for that same reason. It’s just too good and my words won’t do it justice. So instead, I decided that I would just do quick, mini reviews for the entire series. I don’t usually give 5 star ratings to books, but I think this series comes pretty close. There are probably some minor spoilers, but nothing huge. I’m not really going to discuss the plot, just my overall feelings of the characters and the novels in general.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 4.29.47 PM.png

Cinder

TLC #1

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.24.25 AM

When it comes down to it, I love Cinder simply because it is the first book of the series. I think it is a beautiful introduction to the characters, the story and the world in general. Out of all the female MCs, Cinder is probably my least favorite. I know she is basically the most important character, but I just don’t connect with her as much as I do Scarlet or Cress. And, at the same time, Kai is my least favorite love interest. And their relationship is my least favorite “ship”. It probably seems like I hate them, but I don’t at all. I still love them, and the book, but there are other characters and books I love more.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 4.29.54 PM.png

Scarlet

TLC #2

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.24.25 AM

One of my favorite parts of this series is how each story introduces a new character and beautifully continues the plotline. While Cinder was a bit boring and reactive, Scarlet is the take charge type of woman. She is the most badass of the characters. While Wolf might not be my favorite love interest, I really, really loved that sex was included in this book. Ok, well, a little. It’s totally hinted at that Scarlet and Wolf slept together. Even if it takes place off page, sex in YA is important. The pacing was a bit slow and disjointed for a lot of this book, but I forgive it because of the introduction of my Lunar Chronicle’s man crush, Captain Carswell Thorne. He really helped give this book a (not so needed) boost.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 4.29.23 PM.png

 

Cress

TLC #3

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.24.33 AM

Oh Cress, how I love you. This is definitely my favorite book of the series and a lot of it has to do with Cress and Thorne, individually and together. Cress is my favorite, with all of her beautiful naivety and dreaming of a prince to save her and figuring out she sometimes has to save herself. And Thorne just makes every scene better. Cress fixed the main issue I had with Scarlet, which was the pace. It is basically nonstop throughout this entire book. Cress also made me rethink my earlier assessment of Cinder, because I realized how much she had changed from the first book.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 4.30.03 PM.png

 

Winter

TLC #4

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.24.33 AM

I’d like to use Winter as an example of how to end a series, especially one that continued to improve with each novel. Yes there were some points that were a little slow, but I didn’t even mind. Nothing could have turned me away from finding out how it all ended. Winter and Jacin are probably my second favorite relationship in the series. And I do love Winter.   I loved how Winter’s mental illness was handled for the most part. I could have done without Scarlet calling her crazy all the time, but overall I think it was good. I think a big part was that it expressed that Winter didn’t need to be fixed. And I loved Jacin and how supportive and caring he was. Basically I loved almost everything about this book.

 

Final Thoughts:

The Lunar Chronicles is probably one of my favorite fairytale retellings. Each novel brings new life to old tales in creative and original ways. A cyborg Cinderella, a kickass Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel trapped on a satellite and a black, mentally ill Snow White. Each new character added to my overall enjoyment of the series.

There are few series that continue to get better with each additional installment, and The Lunar Chronicles is definitely one of them. Taken together, the entire series is wonderful and is one I know I will be able to read again and again without tiring.

 

ETA: It’s a minor annoyance,  but does anyone else notice how the apple isn’t as red as the shoe, cape and ribbon??

2016 Classics Challenge

IMG_0519_2

I rarely read classics. I just don’t like them that much.  But every year I tell myself I’m going to read at least one classic a month and every year I usually fail. So now I’ve decided to join a public challenge which which hopefully hold me accountable!

You can read all about the 2016 12 Month Challenge here.

Monthly Themes:

January- A classic you’ve always wanted to read-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
February- A classic you’ve always dreaded reading-Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (or anything by Dickens really)
March- A classic you’ve been recommended-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
April- A classic you’ve seen the movie/miniseries/TV show of-Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (ok so i’ve seen the cartoon Treasure Planet but same thing right?)
May- An American classic-The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allen Poe
June- A British classic-Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolf
July- A European classic (non-British) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
August- A modern classic-Lord of the Flies by William Golding
September- A children’s classic-The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum
October- A classic by a female author-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
November- A classic by a male author-The Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells
December- A classic written under a pseudonym- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I’ll be happy if I read at least 6 of these!

Waiting on Wednesday: Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.46.19 AM

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 7.40.45 PM

Their Fractured Light

Starbound #3

by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

December 1,  2015


About

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now-infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness LaRoux Industries’ corruption. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were the only survivors of the Icarus shipwreck, forced to live a double life after their rescue. Now, at the center of the galaxy on Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players in the fight against LRI.
 
Gideon Marchant is an underworld hacker known as the Knave of Hearts, ready to climb and abseil his way past the best security measures on the planet to expose LRI’s atrocities. Sofia Quinn, charming con artist, can work her way into any stronghold without missing a beat. When a foiled attempt to infiltrate LRI Headquarters forces them into a fragile alliance, it’s impossible to know who’s playing whom–and whether they can ever learn to trust each other.
 
With their lives, loves, and loyalties at stake, only by joining forces with the Icarus survivors and Avon’s protectors do they stand a chance of taking down the most powerful corporation in the galaxy—before LRI’s secrets destroy them all.  (from Amazon)

Why I’m Excited:

Another last book in a series that I have really enjoyed reading. I’m excited to meet the new couple and visit the old ones.  And I’m also really excited to see how they wrap this up! Plus that cover is beautiful.

 

The Good Girls by Teresa Mummert

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.58.45 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.00.33 PM

The Good Girls

by Teresa Mummert

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 9.34.43 AM


My life was meticulously planned and I refused to deviate from that path. While my peers were partying, I prepared for the future. Then a tragic event destroyed everything and I learned that while I was looking ahead, I forgot to live in the moment. 

Starting over seemed impossible until I met Cara McCarthy, who lived every day like it was her last. She opened my eyes to a world of chaos and disorder. I loved every minute of it. She was also dating Tristan Adams, one of the most gorgeous men I’d ever seen.

The three of us became inseparable. Our parents were oblivious and soon lines became blurred, feelings began to grow, and someone’s heart was going to get broken. I hoped it wasn’t mine.


The synopsis kind of makes it seem as if this book is going to be about a f/f/m love triangle where they are in some sort of polyamorous relationship and that’s not really what happens.  If that’s what you are expecting then you’ll be disappointed just like I was.  Within 20 pages, I considered DNFing it because of the writing but I plowed on hoping it would get better.

It didn’t.

I think i would have enjoyed it enough to give it 3 stars (or at least 2.5) if the writing had just been better. Everything just felt a bit off and the entire plot, especially the ending, was a bit rushed and tied up all too neatly.

An overall gist of the novel:  Ellie’s mother died recently and she was sent to live with her estranged father, David, his girlfriend, Dawn, and a sort of ward, Cara.  Cara is hiding the truth about how she wound up living with David and Dawn from both her boyfriend, Tristian, and Ellie.  Despite this, Ellie and Cara instantly become best friends and very quickly develop into something more.

There are a lot of hot button issues in this book: homophobia, cheating, underage drinking, drug use, sex with minors (I’m hesitant to call it statutory rape because I’m not sure of the statutory rape/age of consent laws in Georgia where the story takes place) and sexual assault.

That’s a lot going on in a relatively short book and nothing was ever really delved into deeply enough.  I have absolutely no problem with underage drinking or drug use (it was pot) in YA/NA and I don’t think that these are issues that really need to be examined but the others? especially the homophobia and the sexual assault?  They are kind of just brushed off and again, rushed through. There wasn’t really a satisfying conclusion to these issues and while I know that that might make it more realistic that’s not what I want in a book.  I wanted justice and what I got was indifference.

The overall romance was sweet-ish even though it involved cheating (again that isn’t a deal breaker for me) but I wanted more. Insta-love is a plague in YA/NA and this suffered more than most.  Within hours they are already best friends/almost more. I wanted more character development between Cara and Ellie both individually and together.  Although a bit more developed than all the other characters, they were still relatively one dimensional and everything I learned about them was told to me. I wanted to see them fall in love but we are kind of just told it happens.

All in all I just wanted more out of this story. I wanted it to be better. I stuck with it and contented to hope that it would get better and lure me in but it just fell flat.  There are so few F/F romances out there and it seems as if there are even less that are worth my time.

2016 New Release Challenge

I’m signing up for the 2016 New Release Challenge.

The 2016 New Release Challenge is a year-long challenge in which we aim to read books released in 2016.  The challenge is co-hosted by Unconventional Book Views and Books, Movies, Reviews Oh My!  There will be monthly update posts, and each quarter – the end of March, end of June, end of September and in December, there will be a giveaway with the update as well.

The sign-up and rules can be found by clicking on the links above.

Here are the rules:

  • The book has to be released and reviewed in 2016.
  • Other challenges can be used as well, if you are participating in the Netgalley/Edelweiss challenge or in the COYER challenge, books can count towards more than one challenge, as long as the ones you use for the 2016 New Release Challenge  qualify to the other rules.
  • The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages.
  • The book can be in any format: physical, e-book, ARC, audio book, etc.
  • The New Book Release Challenge is open from January 1st through December 31st 2016, and sign-ups are open until February 15th 2016.
  • You don’t have to be a blogger to participate, you can link to your review on Goodreads or Booklikes instead – so don’t be shy!

There are four levels  in the New Release Challenge:

  1. 1-15 books per year – New Release Newbie
  2. 16-30 books per year – New Release Pro
  3. 31-45 books per year – New Release Veteran
  4. 45+ books per year – New Release Enthusiast

My Goal:

My overall reading goal for 2016 will probably be anywhere from 150-175 books so I think I will go for the New Release Pro, which is to read 16-30 new releases.  I’m really looking forward to this because I often fall far behind on reading new releases every year!  My first official challenge as a blogger! Yay!

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.58.45 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.53.39 PM

Sleigh Bells in the Snow

O’Neil Brothers #1

by Sarah Morgan

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.24.25 AM


Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green’s favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.

Jackson O’Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family’s resort—it’s in his blood, and he can’t let it fail. Now that he’s got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she’s out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it’s terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?


I don’t normally read Adult romances.  Actually, as I’ve gotten older I’ve moved farther away from “Adult” books in general.  But I wanted something Christmasy, which is weird, cause I’m Jewish.  So as  a Jew, I loved Christmas the only way I can…as an outsider.  (My boyfriend grew up celebrating Christmas so now that I have an excuse to have a Christmas tree I am all for it!)  So, I was in the mood for something to warm me up to the holiday season and this was the perfect book!

It was so adorable and sweet and just the right amount of sexy for me to really enjoy it.

Jackson O’Neil has returned home to Vermont after his father’s death to try and save the failing family business, Snow Crystal Resort.  He hires PR whiz Kayla Green to come up to Vermont to get the full “Snow Crystal experience”.  All he wants to do is make sure that the family legacy lives on.  Jackson was so swoonworthy.  It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book where I’ve liked the love interest as much as I liked him.  Perfect amount of charm and sex appeal.  He was the perfect opposite to uptight Kayla Green.  Kayla is driven to the point where she doesn’t have a life outside of work.  She eats, breathes and sleeps work.  I think I just liked Jackson so much that I didn’t even mind that this book was generally about “melting the ice queen”.

They did have great chemistry (although, the book does drive the point home a little too hard.  It seemed as if every other page Kayla is thinking about the Chemistry swirling around) and I love a good slow burn relationship.  Well, as slow burn as a week long relationship can be.  But sexual tension is what I live for in books.

I also loved Snow Crystal Resort itself and the O’Neil family.  Morgan really did a wonderful job of setting the scene.  I want to go and stay in one of those cabins, and go on a romantic sleigh ride, go ice skating on the pond and see a moose.   As soon as I finished this book I started researching “romantic Vermont vacations” and nothing even came close to the idea of Snow Crystal I have in my head.

Jackson is a man who is dedicated to his family, so this book (and review) would be incomplete without talking about said family.  I loved his grandfather, Walter.  He reminded me of my own grandfather, a bit of an asshole but someone you can’t help but love.  And I did really enjoy his brother, Tyler, but just taken together the O’Neil’s are probably one of the best families I’ve had the pleasure of reading about recently.

So besides the somewhat repetitiveness of the inner dialogue, and the fact that I can’t really totally ignore that this all happened in a week, the only other complaint I have is the weird POV shift.  The entire book is a dual POV between Kayla and Jackson, until about 50% through when we then get Jackson’s 12 year old niece and his younger brother coming in with their drama.  I understand why they were added in, but I think it could have been handled a bit better.

All together, as one of my first ventures into the adult romance genre, I don’t think I could have had a better experience.  And it was the perfect Christmas read.  Is it too early to start decorating?

Have any suggestions on romance/Christmas books I should read?