August Wrap-Up!

So last month, I thought I’d outdone myself by reading 20 books. In August, I read 22 books!

That’s 1 book for every 1.4 days. I’m currently standing at 113 books read in 2016. (That’s a full 33 books over my goal!)

IMG_2663 (1)

  1. Labyrinth Lost  by Zoraida Córdova
  2. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (Review)
  4. The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach (Review)
  5. 100 Days by Nicole McInnes (Review)*
  6. The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner (Review)*
  7. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer*
  8. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay*
  10. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (Review)
  11. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (Review)
  12. The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer*
  13. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
  14. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  15. The Graces by Laure Eve* (Review)
  16. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty*
  17. And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich*
  18. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie*
  19. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin*
  20. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (Review)
  21. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel* (Review)

*Audiobook or eARC, not pictured
(Plus 1 book proofread for my work, not pictured and not within my blog’s scope of genre)

Some of these books have yet to be reviewed on my blog, but I will add the links as I add the reviews! September is going to rock! So many good books are coming out!

Have you read any of these books? Which ones are you looking forward to reading?

“Girl in Pieces” by Kathleen Glasgow

★★★★☆ New release Tuesday!

24879132Girl in Pieces is arguably one of the most important books I’ve read this year. It explores the issue of self-harm (cutting in particular) and depression.

Charlie Davis wakes up in a rehab center. Last thing she remembers is in the Seed House, Frank trying to get her to give herself to strange men in exchange for a place to stay. Then she’s cutting herself, deeper than normal, trying to end it all. But she didn’t succeed, and now she has to put her life (what little she had) back together.

This book was profoundly sad and heartbreaking, but hopeful too. As a 25-year-old, I’m not too old to remember what Charlie was going through. I remember how vividly awful life could seem at moments, how unsure and insecure I was about myself. I never self-harmed or cut, but I can relate to the thoughts Charlie had. Sometimes life is really tough, especially when you’re young and it seems like the end of the world every time something goes wrong.

Girl in Pieces has a great message for anyone who feels that way. Just keep trying, keep doing better, and reach out for help if you need it. There’s always a reason to live and you should never give up.

Purchase the book here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

“A Torch Against the Night” by Sabaa Tahir

★★★★★ New release Tuesday!

A Torch Against the Night is the highly anticipated sequel to An Ember in the Ashes (which I reviewed here), which I absolutely adored! And boy oh boy did I love this sequel!

a-torch-against-the-night-tahirElias and Laia have escaped Blackcliff Academy and the clutches of and the Commandant, but they are still in ever-increasing danger. They are wanted fugitives trying to travel to Kauf prison to rescue Laia’s brother, and their road is not an easy one! They encounter many old friends, and make lots of new friends and enemies (of course).

Another exciting thing about this book is that we get a third perspective thrown in the mix: Helene. Newly named the Blood Shrike, it is Helene’s duty to track down Laia and Elias and execute them publicly. She is torn between her friendship with Elias and her duty to Marcus (now Emperor) and the Empire.

I read this in one (very long) sitting. If you go into Torch expecting what you got in Ember, you’ll be disappointed. There’s little Blackcliff, no “competition” — it’s just very different. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

I think Sabaa Tahir has succeeded in writing a different, but intriguing (and heartbreaking and exciting) sequel. There are so many twists, so many deceptions, and I just loved it to death! My emotions were in shambles when I reached the last page, and now we all have to wait until 2018 to get the next book! *cries*

Purchase the book here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

“The Thousandth Floor” by Katharine McGee

★★★★☆ Out tomorrow!

24921954The Thousandth Floor takes futuristic YA to another level. In the tower, the higher you live, the richer you are, the better clothes and school you have. The story follows many different characters, bouncing from person to person each chapter. Rylin, a lower-floor girl who is really struggling, just like Watt, a hacker extraordinaire, who is hired by Leda, the popular girl fresh from rehab, who is friends with Eris, whose life is ripped apart, who is also good friends with Avery, who is bored with her perfect life and lives on the thousandth floor with Atlas, her mysterious adopted brother.

This world is so fun to be thrown into. All the highlier kids have contacts that effectively act as phones, using them to text and look things up and take pictures with. The kids take all sorts of fancy drugs that do weird things, like one that connects the “high” of all in the same room, and another that is specially made for whatever problems you’re having (depression, grief, insomnia, etc. all rolled into one pill). There is just so much cool stuff built into this world that I really can’t wait to read the second book in the series! It definitely helps that this book ends on a massive cliffhanger.

The Thousandth Floor is a towering novel filled with gossip, scandal, love triangles, fancy technology, and *dun dun dun* a death. This is a must-read for anyone who likes Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. You don’t want to miss this stunning debut novel from Katharine McGee.

Preorder the book here. (Releases August 30th!)

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

“The Memory of Things” by Gae Polisner

★★★★☆28220960

Everyone I know has a memory of September 11th, 2001. Where you were, what you were doing, who you knew that was affected. THE MEMORY OF THINGS is set on September 11th and the days following, but in a fictional YA setting. It’s a YA mixed with fairly recent historical fiction.

Kyle is racing home from school on the morning of September 11th after the planes hit. His dad is a first responder, his mom and sister are across the country, and his handicapped uncle is alone at home, so he is understandably scared and shaken, but needs to get home. On his way, he sees a girl in costume wings, covered in ash, about to jump off a bridge nearby. Kyle takes her hand, saves her, and forces her to come with him. The girl doesn’t remember anything–her name, who her family is, why she was on the bridge–and seems to have a case of amnesia.

The book, written from Kyle’s perspective, jumping to the girl’s jagged, poetry-like thoughts, follows the attacks and how Kyle and the girl cope with the world crumbling around them. While I am not from New York, and have absolutely no idea how scary that would have been, it still mirrors what we were all feeling on that horrifying day–what happened, and more importantly, what does this mean?

I think this is a really important subject that I hope is explored more in the coming years. We don’t have too many books describing what was happening then, even from a fictional story’s standpoint. It will become more common as time goes on, and I look forward to reading these perspectives of historic events that I also experienced.

Preorder the book here. (Releases September 6th!)

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

“An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir

★★★★★  

This book is truly an epic masterpiece. Definitely in my top 10 for the year!

27774758Laia and Elias live in the same city, but they have very different lives. Laia is a Scholar (basically a lowly peasant) and Elias is a Mask (in training to be like an assassin/really powerful soldier). When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, she knows that she needs to do whatever it takes to save him. This is how she becomes a slave within Blackcliff Academy, which is *gasp* where the Masks live and train! Elias is struggling with what his life will be when he finishes at Blackcliff and becomes a Mask officially. He doesn’t enjoy killing, or fighting, and doesn’t want this life as a Mask–all he wants is his freedom. Will either Laia or Elias (or maybe both of them) get what they are desperately wishing for?

Basically this book is awesome in so many ways: there’s spying, fighting, strong women, evil people, magical beings, and a deadly competition. It’s just really amazing and I can’t stress how much I think so many readers would like this book! It’s a rush of adventure and intense, breath-holding moments, will-they-won’t-they love interests, and so much more.

And what’s more, the sequel, A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, comes out on August 30th! So you can binge read both and feel ALL THE FEELS with me. Review for TORCH upcoming!

Purchase the book here.

“100 Days” by Nicole McInnes

28820890-1★★★☆☆ New release Tuesday (a day late!)

Agnes doesn’t know it yet, but she has 100 days left to live. She has progeria–a disease that makes a child’s body age way faster than normal (and Agnes, at 16, is lucky to have survived this long). Her best friend, Moira, takes care of her like a bodyguard and a mom, escorting her through the halls so she doesn’t get injured and driving her in a special car seat to and from school. But Agnes doesn’t want to be coddled. She knows she isn’t long for this world, so she wants to live it up, get all the experiences that she’s missed out on in her short life.

One day, they bump into their old friend, Boone, in the cafeteria. This sets in motion a series of days full of grief, hardship, but also friendship.

Told from alternating views of all three characters and counting down from day 100, this is a light read that also deals with some somber topics. It’s a great reminder to keep your friends close, enjoy every moment you have with loved ones, and to experience everything possible while you can.

Purchase the book here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Waiting on Wednesday – LABYRINTH LOST by Zoraida Cordova

Waiting on Wednesday is a fun new post I’m going to be using occasionally to highlight books that aren’t out yet that I am either 1) super excited to read, or 2) I have read an advance copy and I want to tell you how much you’re going to love it!

LABYRINTH LOST is amazing. I read it a few weeks ago and I am just so excited for you all to read it and talk with me about it! It comes out on September 6, 2016, so there are only 3 weeks left to wait!

It’s also got a gorgeous cover! See for yourself!


Here’s the official blurb:

Alex is a Bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Are you intrigued yet? Of course you are!

You can buy the book on Amazon, or you can pre-order through Books of Wonder and get it signed and personalized by the author!

Look out for my official review closer to the pub date!

#ReadThemAllThon!

ReadThemAllThon

I’ve decided to join the #ReadThemAllThon hosted by Read at Midnight! It runs from August 14th through September 4th. Basically there are 8 challenges to complete and you get points for every book read (and some more things like tweeting!). It’s a great way to get a bunch of your books knocked off the ol’ TBR!

This time, it’s Pokemon themed. (Which isn’t really that interesting to me personally, but I can get behind a challenge for sure!)

Below, I list the challenges and the books I hope to read for them! My pokemon is Magikarp, because if I read a lot of books, I’m told it’s the best points-wise.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge01-Boulder
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
ReadThemAllThon-Badge02-Cascader
The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner
ReadThemAllThon-Badge03-Thunder
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
ReadThemAllThon-Badge04-Rainbow
The Reader by Traci Chee
ReadThemAllThon-Badge05-Soul
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
ReadThemAllThon-Badge06-Marsh
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
ReadThemAllThon-Badge07-Flame
The Graces by Laure Eve
ReadThemAllThon-Badge08-Earth
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

So anyway, wish me luck! I am really excited to see how I do on this challenge. Are you participating in #ReadThemAllThon? What are you excited to knock off your TBR?

“The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko” by Scott Stambach

★★★★☆ New release Tuesday!28221009

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko is, simply put, as if The Fault in Our Stars took place in a hospital/orphanage in Russia with mutant children.

Ivan was born a mutant–he has one arm, and nubs where his other arm and legs should be. His face droops and he has trouble speaking, and he’s been in the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children for his entire life. Despite all his physical deformities, Ivan is very smart and observant. He reads nonstop and is very astute at observing the health of his fellow patients.

Ivan, with the encouragement of the caring Nurse Natalya, has decided to write his story. The story is an account of Ivan’s life, how he feels, who his fellow patients are, and various other observations, up to the point where he meets Polina, and ending a few days after her death. (Not a spoiler, this is found out in the first page!) She changes his life from the moment he hears she will be coming to Mazyr Hospital. And his life will never be the same afterwards.

Neither will my life be the same, to be honest. This book was heartbreaking, funny, introspective, and devastating. I tore through this one in two days and after the last page I was just profoundly sad–but in a good way, where you know you read something important.

Purchase the book here.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.