“Nevernight” by Jay Kristoff

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OKAY YOU GUYS. I’m so excited. Let’s talk about Nevernight. This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. It’s dark, violent, steamy, exciting, mind-bending, intense, funny, and so much more. This book made me have feels. So many feels. And I hardly ever have feels this intense for a book.

Mia Corvere’s dad was hung and her mom and brother imprisoned, so naturally she wants revenge more than life itself. She decides that the best way to do this is to join the Red Church, a school for assassins, to compete to become a Blade (essentially an elite assassin) so that she can get her revenge on the Administratii officials that are responsible.

This book has an amazing world built that is so intricate and fascinating that I could not put this book down. There are awesome supporting characters–Tric, the Dweymeri boy who Mia teams up with, the Shahiids at the Red Church, the other assassins-in-training…the list goes on and on.

I do have a disclaimer here–that at the beginning of this book you may be confused about what is going on, and that’s because there is so much to build. And here, I’ll just have to tell you to trust me (and the legion of other reviewers that love this book). Get through the first section in Nevernight and you’ll be SO hooked and happy you persevered. Definitely pick this one up, preferably in Hardcover as there are many footnotes that (I personally think) read better in a physical format.

Now go! Go buy it! Go buy it now!

Purchase the book here.

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

“It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover

★★★★☆ New release Tuesday!27362503

This was my first Colleen Hoover book, and I have to say, I can see why she appeals to so many readers.

Lily Bloom is a twenty-something living in Boston, working at a marketing job. By complete chance, she meets Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgeon who tries to convince her to follow her dreams, her instincts — and to have a one-night-stand (which sounds sleazy in this context, but in the story it has some background to it). She declines and moves on with her life.

Six months later, she is following her dream of finally opening her own flower shop. A woman enters the space the day Lily buys it and offers to help her set it up and run it, for something to do. It just so happens that this woman, Alyssa Kincaid (you can see where this is going), is Ryle’s sister and temporary roommate!

So Lily and Ryle are pursuing the possibilities of a relationship (monogamous or otherwise), and meanwhile, we are getting flashbacks via Lily’s diaries from when she was a teenager. They mainly feature two things: (1) her budding friendship with the homeless boy that lives in the abandoned house behind hers, Atlas Corrigan, and (2) her parents’ abusive marriage. One day, Lily and Ryle run into Atlas, whom Lily hasn’t seen in about a decade. Thus begins a scary, confusing part of all three characters’ lives.

This book covers an important topic: abusive relationships. This is such a great look at these relationships, how they affect all in and around the relationship, and what can be done about them. Relationships (whether romantic, friendly, or familial) are almost always not black and white, but instead very gray. It Ends With Us shows how real, raw, and confusing life and relationships can truly be. Even if new adult, contemporary romance isn’t your thing, I think this book would still be enjoyable and informative for all to read.

Purchase the book here.

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

July Wrap-Up

It’s time to wrap-up my July reads. I read 20 books! Wow! That is by far the most books I’ve read in a month. It’s 1 book for every 1.55 days. I also completed my Goodreads Challenge this month, and now stand at 91 books total for the year!

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Books read in July 2016!
  1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  2. You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein (Review)
  3. Jackaby by William Ritter
  4. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  5. Shrill by Lindy West
  6. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  7. All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker (Review)*
  8. If I Stay by Gayle Forman*
  9. Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke*
  10. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Review)
  11. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
  12. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Review)
  13. The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel (Review)*
  14. Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  15. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover*
  16. The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
  17. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany (Review)

*Audiobook or eARC, not pictured
(Plus 3 books 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! I look forward to August being a very successful month as well.

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

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

harry-potter-cursed-child-final-cover★★★★★

This was totally worth the wait. So utterly magical I almost want to go read it again right now. I’m going to #KeeptheSecrets with this review, so no worry of spoilers!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not like the first seven Harry Potter books, so if you go into reading it with that in mind, you may be confused. It’s a screenplay, and while it took me a couple of chapters to get used to the format, it ultimately read like a normal story after a while, with stage direction painting the scene. I cannot even imagine how amazing this is in the actual play. It has to be utterly beautiful.

The story follows Albus Potter as he goes to Hogwarts and learns that life isn’t any easier at school than it was at home, having the “Boy Who Lived” as his father. He doesn’t get along with many people and he seems generally at odds with everything he encounters. But one day, Albus decides to do something that will change the direction of his life. (And that’s where I’ll stop so you can discover for yourself but it is so great and magical!)

Bottom line — this was a magnificent addition to the Harry Potter world. It has all of the old favorite characters, plus some new very colorful ones thrown in. I could not put it down once I picked it up (clearly, since I’m posting this review 3 hours after it came out where I live!). I really think that Harry Potter fans and readers in general are going to enjoy this story and the multitudes of more wizarding world facts we have now. #HarryPotterForever

Purchase the book here.

“Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon

rev-everythingeverything02★★★★☆ — Maddie has SCID, also known as bubble baby syndrome. She has lived her entire life up to now in her home, taking school over the internet, for the last 18 years. But when a cute and interesting boy moves in next door, her life changes drastically.

This book holds a special place in my heart as I suffer from lots of different allergies (but nowhere near SCID). I like to tell people about my allergy test to explain: I was tested for allergies to 64 things, and I was NOT allergic to FOUR of them.

A coming-of-age, coming-out-of-the-house YA contemporary, you’ll find yourself holding your breath, laughing, and crying. Told through internal dialogue and online chats, this book is a breezy read that you’ll definitely have a reaction to.

Purchase the book here.

Nicola Yoon has a new book coming out this November, too: The Sun is Also a Star. I snagged an ARC at BEA — be on the lookout for my review!

Bookstagram

I have started getting into the “bookstagram” trend lately, which is basically taking artistic photos of books and posting them on Instagram and other social media. It’s really fun and allows me to be a little creative with the usually beautiful covers being put out recently! I’ve always loved photography (whether I’ve been halfway decent at it is a real question), so this is just another really neat outlet for my love of books!

Follow along with me this month as I participate in #redwhiteandbookedjuly! In case you’re new to these challenges, here’s a rundown: basically one or more users create a challenge, usually a month-long one, where they give you a “theme” for every day. This is the challenge I’m doing:

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Here’s my first few photos! Feel free to share yours too!

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My TBR (to be read) pile for July!
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Summer-themed books!
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Books that take place where you live — Rainbow Rowell not only lives here, but has found a way to weave Omaha into all of her books. Eleanor & Park actually takes place here, which is awesome!
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Fourth of July post: Red, white and blue books! I had a lot of fun with this one and had lots of different options to choose from.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see the next posts!

“The Haters” by Jesse Andrews

★★☆☆☆ — Wes, Corey, and their new friend Ash run away from band camp to go on tour. They drive south to find gigs for their brand new band to play to get exposure in the music world. This story follows their adventures — and misadventures — in friendship, love, drugs and alcohol, and music.

Acr297196509774415983Every once in a while when I am reading YA, I find books that I really don’t like because of the decisions the characters make (e.g. juvenile, immature, irresponsible choices). However, these same stories are the ones I frequently think I would have loved had I read when I was a teenager. (See: PAPER TOWNS by John Green.) This is one of those cases, I think.

I didn’t super enjoy this book — there was a lot of unnecessary vulgarity in my opinion (e.g. joking about mutilating their genitals?? a lot…). The story was incredibly slow, and as such, took me about 3 times as long to read as normal. I’ve never read Jesse Andrews’s other popular book, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, so maybe this is just a case of me not liking the author’s style in general.

That being said, I think that teenage boys in bands or aspiring to play music would enjoy this book, as well as teenagers wanting to rebel and run away from the pressures of life. So definitely not my type of book. Your results may vary.

Purchase the book here.

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

“The Loose Ends List” by Carrie Firestone

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★★★★☆ — When Maddie and her whole family are called to their Gram’s house, they have no idea what is going to happen. It turns out that Astrid North O’Neill, a.k.a. Gram,  is dying from pancreatic cancer and she has planned one last family trip to celebrate her life.

She books them a 2-month trip on a cruise ship called the Wishwell, which is a ship on which sickly people “die with dignity” and get gently shipped off into the ocean. Sounds pretty morbid, huh?

But this book manages to be sweet, quirky, funny, and touching. Maddie and her family go around the world, fulfilling Gram’s last wishes and going on crazy adventures to tie up her “loose ends.”

While light-hearted and fun, this book touches on some serious issues — alcoholism, death, and relationships. It manages to make them an important storyline, but not to make the book seem “heavy.”

THE LOOSE ENDS LIST was a breeze to read and would be especially great to read on a cruise this summer! Everyone else will have major cover envy — isn’t it preeetttyyy? I truly enjoyed this book and will for sure be picking up Carrie Firestone’s next novel.

Purchase the book here.

I was given an ARC of this book at BEA in exchange for my honest opinion.

“Sleeping Giants” by Sylvain Neuvel

★★★☆☆ Major cover crush here!

51TUSM5iXLLWhen Rose is a child, she falls in a large hole. The hole contains a massive metal hand and is surrounded with walls decorated with strange, glowing symbols.. Years later, she heads the research on the hand, trying to figure out its origins. Eventually, the scientists find more metal body parts, leading them to believe this thing is meant to be a weapon.

Follow along with the secretive coordinator of research as they learn more about this weapon: what it is, how it is used, and–most importantly–how to keep it out of the wrong hands.

Sleeping Giants is written in interviews, diary entries, and transcripts. I feel that this style hurt the amazing concept behind the book as some things would have been way more interesting if described, rather than told after the fact by a character. This title has garnered a lot of buzz, and I would contest that it’s not worth all the hype. It was a decent read, and I would recommend it, but I definitely wouldn’t drop everything to get to it.

Purchase the book here.

“This Is Where It Ends” by Marieke Nijkamp

★★★★☆ New release Tuesday!

41hfrWWhMRLAt Opportunity High, there is plenty of the usual high school drama. Relationships, fights, and kids with family problems. However, on one fateful day, they have a new problem that none of them saw coming: All of the students and teachers have been locked in the auditorium. With an armed, crazed student.

This Is Where It Ends is told from 4 students’ points of view: Autumn, Sylv, Claire, and Tomás. They are all connected to the shooter, and they are all fighting for their own lives and the lives of their friends and family members in the school.

This book is equal parts terrifying and riveting. In the world we live in, this has unfortunately become a serious threat to us. This book makes you really think about how you treat others, what’s important in your life, and how you would survive a similar situation if it were to happen to you. Marieke Nijkamp has written an important story for the times we live in that should be required reading for every high school student (and really everyone in general).

Purchase the book here.

Thank you to the publisher for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review.