Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Ladybug Looks Back... January 2015

Looking back...

I will be the first to admit that this recap is a little bit pathetic.  January was a busy month for me, though not in a reading sense (unfortunately).  There was a long visit from a family member, as well as numerous appointments that took me away from home (and my books... that's the problem with reading most novels on your computer).  I even spent a couple of long stretches without accessing the Internet at all!  It's kind of cool to know that I can still do that, that I'm not so addicted that I can't unplug every now and then.  But, oh, it sure makes for a pile of crap to wade through in the e-mail inbox when you finally do come back!  Junk mail filters really don't do as good of a job as they should.

I only managed to finish and review one book this month, and that was Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.  I wasn't really thrilled with that one, though I've been told that the story picks up in subsequent books.  In that case, I may try Crown of Midnight at some point... though maybe not for a while.

Despite all the busyness of the past month, I did manage to participate in Top Ten Tuesday a couple of times.  The first topic was the Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015.  The second topic was a freebie, so I chose to list the Top Ten Books That Everybody Loved... Except Me.  As you can probably tell, I'm still annoyed with The Fault in Our Stars.

And, since it was the beginning of the year, I also signed up for the 2015 Reading Challenge on Goodreads.  This year, my goal is to read 25 novels.  I read a few more than that last year, so I think that number is probably manageable... well, as long as I don't have any other busy months like this past January!

Looking ahead...

I'm almost finished reading All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill.  I was hoping to finish and review it in January, but that just wasn't in the cards.  So that review will be coming soon.

My next read is going to be Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard.  It's a NetGalley book, so I really want to get to it sooner rather than later.  I haven't read any middle grade novels in a while, so that'll be a nice change of pace.

And then I'm hoping to start Unwind by Neal Shusterman, because when I wrote about adding it to my TBR pile, so many people said how good it was.  I'm looking forward to reading that one.

How was your January?
Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New to the TBR Pile (15)

All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays #1)
by Cristin Terrill

Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She's tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present- imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend, James, since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America's most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James's life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina's hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it... at least, not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time only one of them can win.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Bought from
Compulsion (The Heirs of Watson Island #1)
by Martina Boone

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1)
by Neal Shusterman

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

What's new to your TBR pile this week?  Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books That Everybody Loved... Except Me

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is a FREEBIE!  So I guess that means we can pick whatever topic we like.  What hasn't already been done by now?  My goodness...

This week, I think I'm going to talk about the top ten books that made me feel like I was the outsider.  So the topic is Top Ten Books That Everybody Loved... Except Me:

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
by Marissa Meyer

Like many of the books on this list, this was one I was looking forward to.  Sci-fi Cinderella with cyborgs and androids and an evil queen who lives on the moon?  Sign me up!  Unfortunately, this book didn't really wow me... and while it wasn't bad enough to deter me from trying the rest of the series, I'm certainly not going to gush over it, either.  World-building?  Weak.  Romance?  Meh.  Plot twists I didn't see coming?  Ha!  I figured the big one out within the first few chapters.  I'm hoping the sequel is a lot better.

my review of Cinder
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

This one looked so cute and fun, and I when I got it from the library I thought I'd be in for an entertaining read.  Little did I know that the characters would be so off-putting that I wouldn't even be able to finish.  While the premise sounded great, I just couldn't stand Lily.  Gritting my teeth and pushing through didn't help.  The urge to slap that shrill little twit was so strong that it was making me a little crazy.  I abandoned this book, and I don't even care how it ended.

my review of Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)
by Maggie Stiefvater

I had a tough time getting through this book.  I did enjoy the first installment in the series, but in this one, I felt like Stiefvater's writing was getting in the way.  I kept wanting something to happen, and instead all I got was more flowery prose.  It didn't help that so much of this book focused on Ronan, who is my least favourite of the Raven Boys.  I'm still on the fence after reading The Dream Thieves; I haven't yet decided if I'll continue with the rest of the series (even though I do so want to find out what happens with Gansey and the prophecy)!

my review of The Dream Thieves

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

Oh, no.  Just... no.  Seriously.  I don't get it.  What's so appealing about a couple of self-important teenagers who are basically emotionless, walking thesauri?  Most pretentious... book... ever.

my review of The Fault in Our Stars
If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
by Gayle Forman

I wanted to read this one so much when it came out that I actually shelled out money to buy the hardcover... and then I regretted it as soon as I read the book.  The basic idea was sound, but for a book that was supposed to be about relationships, connections, and characters, I found that the development of all three was sorely lacking.  I just couldn't care about any of the people in this story, because the author hadn't done enough to make me care.  (I think I made a comment in my review about Mia's parents' friends being some of the most interesting characters in the book.  I don't think that was the author's intent.)  The near-death experience was pretty boring, too.

my review of If I Stay

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)
by Suzanne Collins

War is hell.  Yeah, we get it.  But after the first two books in this series being so full of action, I found that this one read too differently.  My lasting impression from this book was one of futility and boredom.  All I can remember is Katniss finding new places to hide, and something about taking down the government... but at a price that basically nullified the reason behind everything that had come before.  So depressing.  (I guess I prefer my endings to be happy.)

my review of Mockingjay
Obsidian (Lux #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hey!  It's Twilight with aliens!  After hearing about how awesome this book was, and ZOMGDaemon!!!, I figured I'd better see what all the fuss was about.  Instead of a fun paranormal romance, I got one of the biggest jerks in YA and some of the worst writing I've seen in a traditionally published novel.

my review of Obsidian
Splintered (Splintered #1)
by A. G. Howard

So many of the reviews that gush over this book and series talk about some character named Morpheus.  Disclosure: I never even got that far.  I was so put off by Alyssa's ethics, the book's treatment of mental illness, and Jeb (does he want to be her friend or her father?) that I just couldn't keep going.  I stopped right after Alyssa decided it was okay to steal a wad of cash from a girl just because that girl was mean.  I don't mind characters who break the rules... but I'd prefer for them not to justify themselves with such weak excuses.

my review of Splintered
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
by Sarah J. Maas

I was actually pretty surprised by this book and my reaction to it.  I'd heard that the story was amazing.  I'd heard that Celaena was this incredible, kick-ass heroine.  I'd heard that Maas was a masterful writer.  What I'd heard and what I experienced for myself didn't match up.  While it wasn't the worst book I've ever read, it was disappointing, given what I'd been led to expect.

my review of Throne of Glass
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
by Michelle Hodkin

This is one of the most baffling choices on this list.  Why is this book so popular?  Is it just because it has a drop-dead gorgeous cover?  It can't possibly be the story itself, because it's fairly weak.  The characters are kind of stereotypical.  We're told more than we're shown.  And Noah?  If you're going to write a bad boy, actually make him bad.  A bad reputation based on nothing does not a bad boy make.

my review of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

What books did you dislike while everyone else loved them?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New to the TBR Pile (14)

Borrowed from NetGalley:
Watch the Sky
by Kirsten Hubbard

The signs are everywhere, Jory’s stepfather, Caleb, says. Red leaves in the springtime. Pages torn from a library book. All the fish in an aquarium facing the same way. A cracked egg with twin yolks. Everywhere and anywhere. And because of them, Jory’s life is far from ordinary. He must follow a very specific set of rules: don’t trust anyone outside the family, have your work boots at the ready just in case, and always, always watch out for the signs. The end is coming, and they must be prepared.

School is Jory’s only escape from Caleb’s tight grasp. With the help of new friends, he begins to explore a world beyond his family’s farm. Then Caleb notifies the family that the time has come for final preparations: digging in their backyard canyon at night. Every night.

As the hole gets deeper, so does Jory’s doubt about whether Caleb’s prophecy is true. When the real reason for their digging becomes clear, Jory must choose between living his own life or following behind Caleb, shutting his eyes to the bright world he’s just begun to see.

What's new to your TBR pile this week?  Let me know in the comments!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review - Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass
(Throne of Glass #1)
by Sarah J. Maas
Date: 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Reading level: YA
Book type: prose novel
Pages: 404
Format: e-book

Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I've been reading rave reviews of this book and its sequels for the past year or so.  When I found a discounted copy of Throne of Glass, I put it in my TBR pile.  It promptly got buried.  I thought I should probably get around to reading it so I could see what all the fuss was about.  I'm a bit baffled, to be honest.  While Throne of Glass wasn't the worst young adult fantasy I've ever read, it had some huge weaknesses.  I started off enjoying it, but by the end I was bored, unsatisfied, and a bit annoyed.

Please, dear author, I want some more...

There were a few things that I did like.  The basic premise itself, while not all that original, was decent.  The action scenes were exciting and well-paced.  I liked the idea of an assassin as a main character, and the fact that said assassin was an eighteen-year-old girl piqued my interest even more.  The world-building was average, and somewhat derivative, though Maas did a good enough job of describing the locales that I could easily envision them; just the idea of a castle built of glass is pretty cool.  And I always like to see maps in fantasy novels, especially when they take place in (or refer to) more than one location, so the map of Erilea at the beginning of the book was a nice bonus.

It's all a matter of taste...

For a book that's supposed to be about an assassin competing in a contest against twenty-three others to become the King's Champion, it was actually pretty slow.  Imagine The Hunger Games if Katniss had never made it out of the Capitol and had instead played dress-up with Cinna for two-thirds of the book.  So many of Celaena's Tests in the competition were glossed over with just a sentence or two; that was a shame, because the ones we did see (like scaling the castle to reach a flag or determining which poison was most deadly) were actually pretty engaging.  But no sooner had something interesting happened than we were back to Celaena dressing up in yet another pretty gown.

The characters in this book didn't thrill me.  Though they're fairly distinct, none of them really made me care about them.  Unfortunately, I just didn't like Celaena, nor did I buy her as an assassin.  So much of the book is spent with her dressing up in meticulously described gowns and vomiting (do I dare count the number of times that girl threw up?) that we never even get to see her do anything remotely assassin-like.  We're told she's an assassin, and I guess that's supposed to be good enough.  (I realize there are prequels to Throne of Glass, and I would hope they would give us a little more information about Celaena.  As it is, we know very little about her.  Since this is the first actual novel in the series, I was expecting better character development.  There were lots of hints -- her parents, Sam, the assassin who trained her, etc. -- but what we actually know about the main character from this book probably wouldn't even fill one page.)

So we've got ourselves a bit of a blank slate in Celaena.  Okay, so she's an assassin.  Problem is, in real life, she would be ridiculously easy to take out.  The girl is just not that bright, even though those around her seem to think she's some sort of cunning genius.  For example, she finds a bag of candy on her pillow on Yulemas morning, with no idea where it might have come from.  If you're the world's most notorious assassin who's in the middle of a cutthroat competition, do you a) set the candy aside until you can figure out where it came from; b) trash it because it's probably poisoned; or c) squeal like a little girl and eat half the bag before you even get out of bed?  Guess what Celaena does.  If only her opponents had known about her sweet tooth, they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble.

On top of everything else, I just couldn't figure Celaena out.  She missed all the clues that the author so heavy-handedly dropped about the evil goings-on in the castle... and yet the way she ended up treating one of the love interests made it seem like she was some master manipulator who used people for her own gain.  It wasn't very consistent.

And that brings me to my biggest complaint with the book.  I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was, other than that I thought the plot was utterly predictable.  After thinking about it for a while, I realized that I felt like I, as a reader, had been manipulated... and not very skillfully at that.

Looking back, it was almost as if the author was lurking there behind the scenes, like a puppeteer with her marionettes.  The only problem was, you could see her working back there, and knew which puppet she was going to reach for next; I was so busy watching that that I wasn't watching (and didn't believe) what was playing out on the stage.

Let's get technical...

The writing itself isn't that bad.  It's mostly technically correct (aside from a few typos, one or two instances of people grinning their speech, and the continual reference to the "duel" between four people... which really should have been clarified earlier).  There were a few passages that I highlighted as being particularly lovely.

But... there was something really weird with the way this author used the third-person point of view.  I've never had this much confusion when reading in the third person before.  Part of the problem may have been the fact that the narrative jumps between characters quite a bit.  But the issue may just be with sloppy writing.  I was tripped up many, many times because of the use of pronouns.  This happened especially in scenes when more than one person of the same gender was present.  It wasn't always easy to tell which "he" or "she" the narrative was referring to.  That may have come as a result of not enough paragraph breaks.  For example, Nehemia might say something, then Celaena would perform an action or two and think about some things, and then Nehemia would say something else... all in the space of one paragraph.  And if the pronoun "she" was thrown in there... well, let's just say I was confused for much of this book.

The verdict...

While it's not terrible and will probably appeal to fans of fantasy and romance, I just didn't find Throne of Glass as exciting or swoon-worthy as I'd been led to believe.

Quotable moment:

The late afternoon sun, trapped beneath a wall of pewter, stained the clouds a yellowish gray, making the sky unusually bright. It felt surreal, as if the horizon had disappeared beyond the hills. She was stranded in a world of glass.

Premise: 3/5
Plot: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
Editing: 3/5
Originality: 3/5
Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 ladybugs

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015.  I haven't really been following which books are coming out when, and many of the books that are coming out this year that I really want to read are sequels.  But here are ten debut novels coming out this year that I'd like to get my hands on:

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

Synopsis: In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa, though, doesn't want to be a wife, and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

This beautiful, unique novel is told from alternating points of view-Sudasa's in verse and Kiran's in prose-allowing readers to experience both characters' pain and their brave struggle for hope.

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Synopsis: Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

Synopsis: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking and brilliantly written debut that is part love story, part mystery, part high-stakes drama.

What would you pay to cure your heartbreak? Banish your sadness? Transform your looks? The right spell can fix anything…. When Ari's boyfriend Win dies, she gets a spell to erase all memory of him. But spells come at a cost, and this one sets off a chain of events that reveal the hidden—and sometimes dangerous—connections between Ari, her friends, and the boyfriend she can no longer remember.

Told from four different points of view, this original and affecting novel weaves past and present in a suspenseful narrative that unveils the truth behind a terrible tragedy.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Synopsis: Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

Elias is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Synopsis: When seventeen-year-old Minnow stumbles out of the woods one winter morning, she is haunted and handless and covered in someone else’s blood. She has just escaped the strict religious commune run by a cruel man named the Prophet. In exchange for freedom, she leaves behind her family, her home, and Jude--an outsider boy who changed everything.

But the real world isn't the sanctuary Minnow imagined. Soon, she gets arrested and placed in juvenile detention. Now, Minnow is being questioned by an FBI psychiatrist about the night she escaped, the same night the Prophet was burned to death in his own home—a murder Minnow may be responsible for.

A modern retelling of the Grimm fairy tale, "The Handless Maiden," in which the Devil orders a girl's hands cut off,
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is the story of a girl growing out of the wreckage of corrupted faith.

Scripted by Maya Rock

Synopsis: Reality TV has a dark future in this thought-provoking thriller.

To the people suffering on the war-torn mainland, Bliss Island seems like an idyllic place. And it is: except for the fact that the island is a set, and the islanders’ lives are a performance. They’re the stars of a hit TV show, Blissful Days—Characters are adored by mainland viewers, yet in constant danger of being cut if their ratings dip too low. And no one really knows what happens to cut Characters.

Nettie Starling knows she’s been given the chance of a lifetime when a producer offers suggestions to help her improve her mediocre ratings—especially when those suggestions involve making a move on the boy she’s been in love with for years. But she'll soon have to decide how far she's willing to go to keep the cameras fixed on her... especially when she learns what could happen to her if she doesn't.

The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Synopsis: A powerful story of friendship and sacrifice, for fans of Code Name Verity.

Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.

Valiant by Sarah McGuire

Synopsis: A debut fairy tale retelling featuring a strong female character and a daring quest just right for fans of Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George, and Gail Carson Levine.

Saville despises the bolts of velvet and silk that her father loves- he's always prized them more than he's ever loved her. Yet when he's struck ill, she'll do anything to survive, even donning boys' clothes and begging a commission to sew for the king.

Piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants led by a man who cannot be defeated. And they're marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. But Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.

Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. She tricks them into leaving, but tales of the daring tailor's triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And mere stories won't deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.

Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again.
Valiant richly reimagines "The Brave Little Tailor," transforming it into a story of understanding, identity, and fighting to protect those you love most.

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

Synopsis: Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

What debut novels are you looking forward to in 2015?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge

I signed up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge again this year.  In 2014, I challenged myself to read 13 books.  I ended up blowing right past that goal, so this year I'm aiming for 25 books (novels, preferably).

Here are the books I've read (to be added as I finish them):

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
2. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
3. Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard
4. Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
5. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
6. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
7. Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
8. Carrie by Stephen King
9. The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
10. Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff
11. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
12. The Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker
13. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
14. Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
15. Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani
16. 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger
17. End of Days by Susan Ee
18. Grounded by G. P. Ching
19. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
20. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
21. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
22. A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord
23. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
24. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
25. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

25/25 books. 100% done!